Reigning World No. 1 American Serena Williams has stepped down from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells due to a left knee injury. Consequently, the move takes away her world No1 ranking that she recaptured with her Open era record 23rd Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open.
In this year, before the Australian Open winning campaign, Williams has played a warm-up event in Auckland, but it seems the gruesome crusade at AO Melbourne has taken its toll on the 35-year-old tennis legend.
With Serena’s withdrawal, world No. 2 Angelique Kerber will return to the No. 1 ranking on March 20 as the Premier tournament met its end.
That’s not all, Williams will miss out the Miami Open, a tournament which she has won eight times as it kicks off from March 21-April 2.
Williams, the top seed in the Indian Wells was about to play either Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig or American qualifier Danielle Rose Collins in the opening match.
Interestingly, Williams would have played the Californian tournament for the third time after a 14-year boycott (2001 until 2015) following claims she had suffered verbal and racist abuse at the venue.
In 2016, Williams cut it to the final before a straight-sets 6-4, 6-4 loss to Victoria Azarenka.
The officials of the Indian Wells said a re-evaluated draw would be posted later as Kerber is the top seed now, and followed by Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, and Dominika Cibulkova.