Cincinnati (USA) – Serena Williams on Tuesday withdrew for the Cincinnati Masters ahead of her first match with a back injury, while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic passed without a hitch.
The American star, winner of 23 Grand Slam tournaments, trained on Tuesday morning in Cincinnati and warned the judges that she could not play, just before her match of the first round scheduled against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas, coming out of qualifying. .
"I went to Mason (Ohio) on Sunday and I did everything to be ready to play this (Tuesday) evening, and I was still hopeful after my training this morning. But unfortunately, my back is still not wellWilliams explained in a statement issued by the tournament organization.
The 37-year-old American had already dropped out of the Toronto final because of spasms on the back after four games played.
Williams had previously been handicapped by knee problems.
His decision to withdraw from Cincinnati casts a shadow over his preparations for the US Open, which begins Aug. 26.
"Serena", defeated in the final of Wimbledon by the Romanian Simona Halep in July and who will be 38 at the end of September, is only one unit of the record of titles in Grand Slam in women, held by the Australian Margaret Court (24 ).
– Venus qualified –
His sister Venus had better fortune: the eldest Williams (39) beat defending champion Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4).
On the men's side, Djokovic and Federer were making their comeback on the courts since the Serbian victory over Switzerland at Wimbledon.
Federer, seeded N.3, defeated Argentina's Juan Ignacio Londero 6-3, 6-4. An interruption of one hour due to rain, 2-2 in the second set, did not disturb.
"I am very happy, even if it was a little tricky with the interruption of the rain. I am very happy to be back on the courts", said the 38-year-old Swiss, seven-time winner of the Cincinnati tournament.
Defending champion Djokovic beat American Sam Querrey 7-5, 6-1. "I finished the match well, although the start was a little nervous. Sam felt comfortable on the field early and dictated the tempo. It was hard in the face of his big service", commented the 32-year-old Serb, N.1 World.
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka beat Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4), who won the Cincinnati tournament in 2017.