Twenty three-time grand slam champion Serena Williams has been left out of the China Open tennis draw. Williams’ name, along with that of her sister Venus, did not appear on a list of 64 players ahead of the tournament’s start on Saturday in Beijing. Also Read - Tennis: Maria Sharapova Announces Retirement at Age of 32, Says 'Tennis Gave me a Life'
This year marks the fourth-straight that the 37-year-old has declined to play in a tournament following the US Open, making it almost a routine move for her at this point. Also Read - I Don't Know How Long Will Serena Williams Be Able To Play: Coach
Some of the reports claimed that Serena has called time on her season following her meltdown at the US Open. The American tennis star, three weeks ago, had accused the umpire of sexism in an angry rant during her 6-2, 6-4 defeat to Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the US Open finals. Also Read - Australian Open 2020 Roundup: Roger Federer Beats John Millman in Five-Set Thriller, Advances to Round 4; Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka Crashed Out
She had later said that she wanted to “move on” from the incident, but maintained that women players could not get away with “even half of what a guy can do”. “Right now we are not, as it’s proven, in that same position,” she told Australia’s Channel Ten. “But that’s neither here nor there. I’m just trying most of all to recover from that and move on.”
Williams has won the China Open twice in her career — once at the inaugural event in 2004 and again in 2013. She has not competed there since 2014 when she reached the semifinals.
The number 16th ranked player will likely take the court next at the Australian Open in January.