Former World No. 1 Venus Williams has been forced to withdraw from the Mutua Madrid Open due to an ongoing illness. This is the second straight year that Williams will miss the Spanish event, as she withdrew from last year;s event with a back injury.
Williams has battled with the autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, over the past couple of years but has stated in interviews that she has been able to adapt her game and improve, which was evident this season.
The American had a fantastic start to her 2014 season, and extended her winning streak to 15-0 in Dubai when she won her third straight title there. However, since winning in Dubai at the end of February, the American has played only two tournaments, losing in the last 16 in both Miami and Charleston before withdrawing from Kuala Lumpur to recover from a strep throat infection.
Williams will next take part in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, which takes place between May 12-18 in Rome.