Serena Williams Injury: Updates on Tennis Star's Shoulder and Return

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 09:  Serena Williams of the United States reacts during a Women's Singles Third Round match against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

The shoulder injuries that have plagued Serena Williams throughout the summer have re-emerged, according to the WTA.

Continue for updates.

Williams to Miss Western & Southern Open with Shoulder Injury

Monday, Aug. 15

"My shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge, but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible," Williams, 34, said in a statement, per the tournament's Twitter account.

Those shoulder injuries potentially played a factor in the world No. 1's shocking third-round loss in the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games against underdog Elina Svitolina. ESPN's Chris McKendry certainly thought Williams appeared injured during that match:

Chris McKendry @ChrisMcKendry

Injured during play. Gracious in defeat. It's sports and it's sad. But so it goes... #Serena

Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times concurred and suspected Williams had larger priorities than Cincinnati:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Serena Williams OUT of Cincinnati with shoulder injury. Looked like she struggled with it in Rio but accepted late wildcard here. Doi is LL.

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Serena had practiced on site, but clearly deemed shoulder unready. Health for US Open the clear priority. #cincytennis

It's been a fascinating season for Williams. Before triumphing at Wimbledon, she lost in the finals of the Australian Open and French Open. In total, she's won two singles titles in WTA play, but her inability to medal in Rio will certainly be considered a disappointment for the most dominant player in the women's game.

Now, her reign atop the WTA rankings is in jeopardy, as Rothenberg noted:

Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg

Now Angelique Kerber controls her own destiny: if she wins Cincinnati, WTA #1 ranking is hers for first time. Serena has had it 3+ years.

But Williams' priorities will be about winning her seventh U.S. Open and 23rd Grand Slam title overall, not her world ranking. Even if Angelique Kerber claims the top ranking in Cincinnati, few will argue Williams isn't the best player in the world.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.