Serena Williams out of Miami Open confirms tournament director

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week's Madrid Open.

The former world number one will continue to train as she attempts to work herself back into top shape following the birth of daughter Olympia eight months ago.

The news comes as no surprise considering Williams, currently ranked 449, has been at home in the United States promoting her documentary series 'Being Serena', which began on HBO on Wednesday.

Tournament director Manolo Santana told madrid-open.com: "We regret the absence of Serena and we wish her a speedy recovery. She is one of the great champions of our sport, she has always offered a show to the tournament and we hope to see her again at the Caja Magica in the future."

Williams' withdrawal follows derogatory comments from tournament owner Ion Tiriac to a German newspaper.

Asked about the state of women's tennis, Tiriac told Sport Bild: "With all due respect, Serena Williams is 36 and 90 kilograms, I would like to see something else, I would like to see a player like Steffi Graf."

Responding in an interview with the New York Times, Williams said: "I always say people are entitled to their opinion. Clearly there's more to women's tennis than me. But I'll have words with him, believe me. It's an ignorant comment, and it's a sexist comment, and maybe he's an ignorant man."

Williams made her comeback at Indian Wells in March, winning two matches before losing to sister Venus. She then drew Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka in the first round in Miami and lost, leaving the grounds without talking to the media such was her disgust with her performance.

Williams' next tournament is expected to be the Italian Open in Rome later this month before she makes her grand slam return at the French Open.

She said: "I feel like since Miami I've made a ton of progress, but who knows? I'll have to see when I get out there to play a match."

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