Serena Williams Pulls Out of Fed Cup
Williams has not played on tour since she won Wimbledon in July, citing a foot injury that required surgery. She said on her website last week that she was probably finished for the year. But she was still holding hope.
That hope is now gone.
In an e-mail to the AP, Williams' agent said she "re-tore the tendon" in her right foot and will miss the WTA Championships next week in Doha, Qatar, and the Fed Cup final between the United States and Italy next month at San Diego.
Williams said on Oct. 9 that she had reinjured her foot while training.
"Yesterday, I learned that I had tried too hard and did too much, too soon,'' she wrote on her site. "After practicing yesterday morning, I felt discomfort in my foot, and tests by my doctor revealed that I had unfortunately re-strained it, as a result of over training."
Williams has offered conflicting details about her injury, raising suspicions. Questions about her rarely involve "overtraining."
On Tuesday, Williams wrote, "It is with deep frustration that I am withdrawing from the WTA Championships at Doha and the Fed Cup Final. Pushed by my desire to return to competition, I trained too hard too soon and re-tore the tendon in my foot. As a result, yesterday morning I had to have another procedure to repair it. I thank everyone for their continued support during this difficult time and look forward with strength and determination to getting back on the court."
She has a history of not wanting to play tournaments other than majors, and also of agreeing to play for the Fed Cup team only to pull out at the last minute.
But she withdrew from the U.S. Open, and since then has lost her No. 1 ranking. Also, this Fed Cup final was seen as a real opportunity for her because she wants to play in the Olympics.
The Fed Cup will be in San Diego, near her L.A. home, and it would have fulfilled a pre-Olympic requirement.
Williams, and her sister Venus, are in the same situation now regarding the 2012 Olympics in London. The USTA is requiring players to make themselves eligible to play Fed Cup in two calendar years from 2009-2012 to be eligible for the Olympic Team.
Neither played for the team in 2009, and now 2010.
Venus is out for the year with a knee injury and has already withdrawn from Fed Cup.
Serena agreed to play in the final this time last year, but then three days after confirming her commitment, she announced she was too tired to play. In his book "Hardcourt Confidential'' Patrick McEnroe of the USTA suggests that Serena never intended to play Fed Cup in 2009, and agreed only in hopes of getting a lesser sentence for her f-bomb-laced tirade toward a linejudge at the U.S. Open.
Then, her penalty was announced and she withdrew from the Fed Cup.
The problem now is that the U.S. Fed Cup team will play at Belgium in next year's first round. That will be in February, right after the Australian Open and two weeks, plus a warmup tournament, of pounding on hard courts.
If Williams doesn't play in Belgium, and the U.S. team loses, then she would have to play a consolation match after that -- who knows where -- or risk missing the Olympics. Same goes for Venus.
Serena said she was hurt in July by stepping on broken glass in a German restaurant, but her agent had said she didn't hurt it by stepping on glass. During the U.S. Open, Serena told USA Today that her doctor said the surgery was not mandatory. In the same story, she said her doctors said it was mandatory.
While sitting out, she has fallen behind Caroline Wozniacki to No. 2 in the rankings. Williams is likely to fall to around No. 5 by the end of the year.
Martina Navratilova said recently that Williams could own the No. 1 ranking, but that she doesn't want it, doesn't play enough. Williams has played six tournaments all year, after complaining of knee trouble in the spring.
"I feel completely heartbroken, and devastated, but knowing I will never be given more than I can handle, I plan on coming back stronger and better,'' she wrote last week, talking about the possibility of missing the rest of the year. "However, in order not to make this worse, I have to chill on my physical workouts but I will immediately begin rehabbing as soon as I get the Doc's OK.
"Keep me in your prayers (I need them).''