Williams out of Madrid Open

Nishikori and Thiem progress, Tsitsipas out at Barcelona Open

Former world number one Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week’s Madrid Open, citing fitness issues.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