Serena Williams withdrew from a semifinal of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with an apparent knee injury.
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Williams Withdraws with Knee Injury
Friday, March 20
According to Sports Illustrated, Williams was ruled out for her BNP Paribas Open semifinal clash with Simona Halep due to a knee injury. Halep will now advance to the final without any resistance.
The injury ends Williams' first trip back to Indian Wells, California, after a 14-year hiatus. She won the tournament back in 2001, but in the final, she and her family were loudly jeered by the crowd. Williams' father, Richard, also alleged that some in the crowd made racial taunts, per Joel Drucker of ESPN.com.
On Friday, Williams posted about her return to Indian Wells and forced withdrawal on Instagram:
ESPN.com provided comments from Williams, who indicated she injured her knee in practice, "A couple days ago at practice I really injured my knee," Williams said. "Today I was struggling just to even walk."
It was an unfortunate turn of events for the American star after she made her long-awaited return to the competition. It was evident from the emotion Williams showed in her second-round victory over Monica Niculescu that this tournament meant a lot to her.
At this point, it's still too early to say when Williams might be able to make her return to the court. The big thing is that she be able to get some tournaments under her belt ahead of the French Open. The clay courts at Roland Garros have always seemed to befuddle her over the years, so it's important she get enough preparation.
With the tournament scheduled for late May, that should be more than enough time for Williams to get healthy before beginning the road to Paris.