Serena Williams Withdraws from Miami Open After Undergoing Oral Surgery

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

Romania's Simona Halep hits a forehand return to United States' Serena Williams during their match at the Australian Open Tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)
Hamish Blair/Associated Press

Serena Williams' return to the tennis court will be delayed due to oral surgery. 

In a statement released Sunday (h/t the Associated Press), Williams announced she had to withdraw from the Miami Open, which begins Monday, because of a recent surgical procedure. 

"Miami is a special tournament for me because it's my home," the Palm Beach Gardens resident said. "I am sad I won't be able to see the incredible fans this year, but I look forward to coming back soon."

Williams becomes the latest star to withdraw from the event. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all announced they wouldn't be participating in the men's tournament. 

The Miami Open was scheduled to be Williams' first event since losing to Naomi Osaka in the Australian Open semifinal on Feb. 18. She withdrew from a match against Ashleigh Barty in the Yarra Valley Classic leading up to the Australian Open, citing a right shoulder injury. 

"If I ever say farewell, I wouldn't tell anyone," Williams told reporters after her loss to Osaka when asked about her playing future. 

Depending on how long her recovery process takes, Williams' next event could end up being the French Open starting May 24. If she wants to play a tuneup event before going to Roland Garros, the Italian Open begins May 10. 

Williams has won the Miami Open eight times, most among women all-time and tied with Andre Agassi overall. Her last victory at the tournament came in 2015.