World No. 1 and top seed Serena Williams has announced she will no longer be participating in the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week, with a shoulder inflammation preventing her from playing.
"Due to inflammation in my shoulder, I unfortunately must withdraw from the Rogers Cup," she said in a statement. "I was looking forward to competing in Montreal and I look forward to returning soon."
The Wimbledon winner is fresh off matching Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slams with a victory over her Australian Open nemesis Angelique Kerber. In incredible form of late, Williams has made the finals of every single Grand Slam this year, but suffered upsets at both the year-opening Grand Slam and the French Open.
The top-ranked player will be headlining the attack for Team USA at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in two weeks’ time, which is another reason why the 34-year-old would prefer to sit out the Rogers Cup; Williams is the defending women’s singles champion, and with older sister Venus, also a former World No. 1, is the defending women’s doubles champion as well.
Most analysts have tipped Williams for yet another Olympic gold, which means that it makes perfect sense for Williams to withdraw from the tournament.
Tournament director Eugène Lapierre said organizers were “...disappointed that Serena will not play in the tournament this year.”
Acknowledging her participation at Rio, he said “"=Because this is an Olympic year, the players have very full schedules. Sometimes your body needs rest. We hope that Serena will recover quickly and wish her much success for the rest of the season."
A three-time winner of the Rogers Cup, Williams will now rest before heading to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics. She is not the only top seed to have withdrawn; on the men’s side, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have all pulled out of the tournament, while Belinda Bencic, the defending women’s singles champion at the Rogers Cup, will also sit out.