Williams may lose No. 1 status with Cincinnati withdrawal
TOP seed Serena Williams gave up a wild-card entry into the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters tournament on Monday after complaining of a shoulder injury.
The world number one, who is being chased in the rankings by German Angelique Kerber, took a free entry only last week and was seeded atop the draw.
But the 34-year-old American reversed course abruptly and withdrew from the tournament on Monday.
"I'm very disappointed I'm not able to compete as I was really looking forward to defending my title," Williams said.
"My shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible."
Her absence now opens the door to Kerber to make a run at the WTA top ranking.
Williams has been No. 1 for 183 straight weeks and 306 overall.
But Kerber can become number one if she wins the Cincinnati title.