Serena Williams pulls out of French Open

Updated: May 14, 2011, 15:16 PM IST

Paris: Former world number one Serena Williams on Thursday was forced to pull out of the French Open, the tournament she won in 2002, after failing to recover from a long-term foot injury, the French tennis federation said.

Williams, a 13-time Grand Slam singles champion, has not played a top-level match since winning last year`s Wimbledon title after cutting her right foot on broken glass last July, an injury that required two operations.

"Serena has not sufficiently recovered from her health problems," said a French tennis federation (FFT) statement.

As well as her foot injury, Williams also suffered a pulmonary embolism in February that led to an emergency operation to remove a blood clot from her lung, a health concern she called the scariest moment of her life.

Serena`s sister Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion with five Wimbledon titles, is also a doubt for the French Open.

She has not played since she pulled out of the Australian Open in January with abdominal pain and a sore right hip.

Meanwhile, the FFT also confirmed that Russia`s former world number one Dinara Safina, the 2008 and 2009 runner-up, has also pulled out of the French Open with a back injury.

This year`s French Open starts on May 22.

Bureau Report