Serena Williams Illness: Updates on Tennis Star's Flu and Return

Tim DanielsFeatured Columnist

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 20:  Serena Williams of the United States in her second round match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Chinese Taipei during day three of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 20, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Serena Williams has pulled out of the 2016 Qatar Open with the flu having earlier withdrawn from the Dubai Championships.  

Continue for updates.

Williams Out of 2nd Successive Tournament

Tuesday, Feb. 16

 "I have come down with the flu and do not feel 100 percent. I need to take this time to recover but I do look forward to returning to Doha and seeing my fans soon," Williams said in a news release, per the Associated Press (via

Williams remains, even at age 34, the most dominant force on the WTA Tour by a significant margin. Her combination of power and shotmaking ability puts her among the top tennis players of all time, a status she bolstered with a trio of major titles last year.

Injuries are one of the few things that can slow her down, though. All of the matches and training over the past two decades has taken a collective toll, so any time an ailment pops up, such as the knee problems she had to open the 2016 season, it's obviously a concern.

At this stage of her career, the most important thing is being as close to 100 percent as possible for the top events, even if it means sacrificing some of the smaller tournaments. How the latest setback could impact her availability for the majors is the biggest question mark.

All told, it's amazing how long Williams has been the gold standard of women's tennis, and it's a role she should assume once again when back to full strength.