It appears world No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Qatar Open, according to tournament officials. Williams, who was suffering from back pain when she was upset by Ana Ivanovic at last month’s Australian Open, has not released an official statement as of yet.
— Qatar Tennis Fed. (@QatarTennis) February 7, 2014
Williams’ withdrawal is another big blow to the tournament, as Victoria Azarenka and Sabine Lisicki will also be absent from the event due to various injuries.
The American is still scheduled to take part in next month’s WTA Tour event at Indian Wells, a tournament she and her elder sister Venus have boycotted since 2001 when she was booed during the final, when her sister withdrew.