Serena withdraws, Ivanovic out of Cincinnati Masters

Serena Williams - InjuredTop seed Serena Williams gave up a wild card entry into the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters tournament after complaining of a shoulder injury.

The world number one, who is being chased in the rankings by German Angelique Kerber, took a free entry only last week and was seeded atop the draw.

But the 34-year-old American reversed course abruptly and withdrew from the tournament on Monday.

“I’m very disappointed I’m not able to compete as I was really looking forward to defending my title,” Williams said.

“My shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge, but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible.”

The absence of Williams now opens the door for Kerber to make a run at the WTA top ranking. Williams has been No. 1 for 183 straight weeks and 306 overall.

But Kerber can become number one if she wins the Cincinnati title.

Williams took a wild card spot to get into the draw. She will be replaced by lucky loser Misaki Doi of Japan.

Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko defeated China’s Zhang Shiau 6-3, 6-3 while American CoCo Vandeweghe put out Italian Sara Errani 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Croatian Donna Vekic shocked newly married former world number one Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-2.

In men’s play on a day interrupted by rain, France’s Julien Benneteau earned the first upset win of the week as he put out Spanish 10th seed David Ferrer 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.-AFP


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