Williams out of Madrid Open

Shapovalov and Rublev advance at Winston-Salem

Former world number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open, citing fitness issues.

The 23-time grand slam champion has featured in just four matches since, with the latest being a first round loss to Naomi Osaka in Miami in March.

“We regret the absence of Serena,” said organiser Manolo Santana of Williams, who is a two-time winner of the event.

“She is one of the great champions of our sport, she has always offered a show to the tournament and we hope to see her again at the Caja Magica in the future.”

Williams – who currently enjoys a protected number one ranking to allow her entry to tournaments – was recently quoted in the media saying “pregnancy is not an injury”.