Serena Williams Withdraws from BNP Paribas Open with Knee Injury

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 7, 2017

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 17:  Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her first round match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on day two of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Serena Williams has been forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, due to a lingering knee injury. 

"Sadly, I have to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open," Williams said in a statement, per the tournament's official website. "I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can."

Even at 35 years old, Williams remains one of the best tennis players in the world. She is currently the No. 1 player in the WTA rankings, a spot she reclaimed following a record-setting display at the 2017 Australian Open. 

At a time where most top players in the sport slow down, Williams continues to play at a high level. She reached the finals of three different Grand Slam tournaments in 2016, winning Wimbledon.

This simply adds to a legendary career that includes 23 Grand Slam singles titles and a gold medal at the Summer Olympics, not to mention all the accolades accomplished in doubles play with her sister Venus.

The American is without question among the best tennis players of all time and is quickly moving up the list as one of the top athletes of any kind.

Unfortunately, injuries have slowed her career at times, and this could be another issue to watch. She explained at the end of last season her plan to stay more cautious with these types of ailments.

"I'm tired of playing tournaments unhealthy and taking losses that I would never lose," Williams said in September, per Ravi Ubha and James Masters of CNN.

Fans will hope the latest injury doesn't force her to miss significant time, but Williams will do what is best for her career as she hopes to work her way back to 100 percent in time for the French Open.