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MADRID (AFP) –

Venus Williams of the US during the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2011

Venus Williams of the US plays a stroke during her second round women’s singles match against Sandra Zahlavova of Czech Republic on the third day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 19, 2011. Williams has withdrawn from the WTA Madrid Open because of a back injury, tournament organisers announced on Sunday.

Venus Williams has withdrawn from the WTA Madrid Open because of a back injury, tournament organisers announced on Sunday.

The world number 21 had been due to open play on Sunday on the main showcourt against Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues, but she pulled out before the match could get underway.

Williams will be replaced by Stefanie Voegel of Switzerland.