Serena Williams cites personal reasons for Rogers Cup withdrawal

Serena Williams has pulled out of next week’s Rogers Cup hard-court tournament in Montreal due to personal reasons.

Tournament organisers announced the 23-time Grand Slam champion’s withdrawal from the event on Saturday.

“Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not be joining us. Fans were very much looking forward to seeing her in action,” tournament director Eugene Lapierre said.

“But beyond the disappointment, the tournament, as a whole, remains a high-level competition. The entire top 10 is here, along with 22 of the top 25. There are exciting matches in store from the outset.”

The tournament opens on Monday with world No 1 Simona Halep as the top seed and Caroline Wozniacki, who pulled out of the Citi Open earlier this week with a leg injury, number two.

Williams is coming off the most emphatic defeat of her career, a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Britain’s Johanna Konta in San Jose on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old was the runner-up at Wimbledon last month. That was her fourth tournament since returning to the tour after having a baby in September and dealing with a health scare related to blood clots.

The year’s last major tournament, the US Open, starts at Flushing Meadow on August 27

Williams will be replaced in the draw for the Rogers Cup by Tatjana Maria, who faces Alize Cornet in the first round.