Serena pulls out of Yarra Valley Classic with shoulder injury

Williams has to pull out of a date with world No1 Ashleigh Barry at the Yarra Valley Classic – just days before Australian Open starts.

Williams in a tune-up event yesterday.
Williams in a tune-up event yesterday.
Image: Andy Brownbill

Updated Feb 5th 2021, 9:37 AM

SERENA WILLIAMS HAS pulled out of the Yarra Valley Classic at Melbourne Park with a right shoulder injury just days before the Australian Open. 

The 39-year-old showed no ill effects from the issue and overcame fellow American Danielle Collins 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 to set up a semi-final showdown with world number one Ashleigh Barty.

But hours later she withdrew from the tournament.   

“Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Yarra Valley Classic singles draw due to a right shoulder injury,” the WTA said on Twitter.

Williams is aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and had been in good form so far in Melbourne.

“Look forward to seeing you back on court next week,” the Australian Open said on its official Twitter account.

Earlier today Williams had expressed the view that she still sets the standards for women’s tennis ahead of her scheduled semi-final showdown with Barty.  

Williams has looked sharp having worked her way back from an Achilles injury suffered at last year’s US Open, which then led to a withdrawal from the French Open before the second round. 

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Asked whether she was still the best in the world when on top form, Williams was unequivocal.

“I absolutely wouldn’t be playing if I didn’t think that,” said the American, who is aiming for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title.    

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