WTA Tour

Knee trouble forces Serena out of Italian Open

Serena Williams (AP)
Serena Williams (AP)

Rome - Serena Williams withdrew from the Italian Open on Tuesday with a recurring left knee injury.

"Serena Williams has withdrawn with a new knee pain," organisers said.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion's withdrawal comes a day after she beat Sweden's Rebecca Peterson in straight sets to set up a second round meeting with her older sister Venus.

She had been returning after more than two months out with a knee problem, in the final warm-up clay-court tournament before the French Open.

Four-time Rome winner Serena, 37, had eased through 6-4, 6-2 her first round match against Swedish qualifier Petersen.

Serena had also played Petersen in the second round at the Miami Open in March before withdrawing with a knee injury.

Her withdrawal sends Venus Williams, the 1999 winner, through to a third round meeting with either Johanna Konta of Britain or American seventh seed Sloane Stephens.

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