Serena Williams will not play in Qatar Open starting next week because of the flu, she said on Tuesday. This will be the second consecutive tournament the world number one will miss due to illness.
Williams, a finalist at the 2013 tournament where she lost in three sets to Victoria Azarenka, was the top seed at the Feb. 21-27 tournament in Doha.
“I unfortunately have to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open as I have come down with the flu and do not feel 100 percent,” Williams said in a statement released by tournament organisers.
“I need to take this time to recover but I do look forward to returning to Doha and seeing my fans soon.”
According to 34-year-old world number one she would miss the ongoing Dubai Championships with the flu.
Serena Williams has not been in a competitive fight since she lost the Australian Open final by German Angelique Kerber.
The world number one’s withdrawal is another blow to tournament organizers after Maria Sharapova is out with an arm injury as well.