Serena Williams Withdraws from 2021 US Open to Recover from Torn Hamstring Injury

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 25, 2021

Serena Williams of the US plays a return to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus for the women's singles first round match on day two of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London, Tuesday June 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she will not play in the 2021 U.S. Open while recovering from a torn hamstring.

Williams made the announcement on Instagram, and Ben Rothenberg of the Racquet tweeted a screenshot of the post:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Serena Williams pulls out of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a> <br><br>Serena, turning 40 next month, made semifinals at the last two hardcourt Slams. <br><br>She’s made four Slam finals since returning from maternity leave in 2018.<br><br>She hasn’t done as much as she’d wanted, but what she’s done is truly remarkable. <a href="https://t.co/xM3YY9Antv">pic.twitter.com/xM3YY9Antv</a>

Serena, who will turn 40 on Sept. 26, has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2017 Australian Open, which was her final tournament before going on maternity leave.

Williams has not played in a tournament since June, when she competed at Wimbledon. Serena retired from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich because of an ankle injury.

The next major tournament after Wimbledon was the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but Williams removed herself from consideration for Team USA. She also skipped the recent Western & Southern Open.

Serena has a long history of success at the U.S. Open, having won it six times, although she has not won the tournament since 2014.

In five U.S. Open appearances since her last title, however, she has made it to at least the semifinals each time, including finals appearances in 2018 and 2019.

Williams has been stuck on 23 career Grand Slam singles titles since 2017. That is a professional era record in women's tennis, which began in 1968, although she remains one title short of the 24 won by Margaret Court.

Since winning her last major, Williams has reached four Grand Slam finals, losing each time.

Williams made it to the semifinals at the Australian Open earlier this year, but she fell in the fourth round of the French Open and withdrew during the first round of Wimbledon.

Serena is the latest high-profile player to withdraw from the U.S. Open, as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and defending champion Dominic Thiem are all out on the men's side.

Rothenberg noted that it has been nearly a quarter-century since the last time a Grand Slam event didn't have one of Serena, Nadal or Federer playing in it:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

The 2021 US Open will be the first Grand Slam event without Serena Williams, Roger Federer, or Rafael Nadal in the main singles draw since the 1997 US Open.<br><br>End of an era.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USOpen</a>

The 2021 U.S. Open will begin Monday and run through Sept. 12 in New York City.