August 4, 2018 11:35 am
Updated: August 4, 2018 4:54 pm

‘Of course we are disappointed’: Serena Williams withdraws from Rogers Cup

In this 2017 file photo, United States' Serena Williams prepares to serve to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne. Tennis Canada announced the tennis star will not be playing in the Roger's Cup. Saturday, August 4, 2018.

Andy Brownbill/AP Photo
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American tennis star Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup in Montreal, citing personal reasons.

Tennis Canada made the announcement Saturday morning, saying that Williams will take a short hiatus from the sport.

Williams was No. 1 on the WTA world rankings after beating her sister Venus to win the 2017 Australian Open. Shortly after the win, she announced that she was pregnant and didn’t play for the rest of the tennis season.

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Since returning to action at this year’s French Open, Williams has risen to 26th in the WTA rankings.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Rogers Cup is free for everyone this weekend

In a written statement tournament director Eugène Lapierre admitted the tennis star’s withdrawal was a letdown.

“Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not be joining us,” he said. “Fans were very much looking forward to seeing her in action.”

Despite Williams’s withdrawal, Lapierre reassured fans they would be in for some high-quality tennis.

“Beyond the disappointment, the tournament, as a whole, remains a high-level competition,” he said.

“The entire Top 10 is here, along with 22 of the Top 25. There are exciting matches in store from the outset.”

Williams last appearance in Montreal was in 2014.

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Germany’s Tatjana Maria will take the American’s spot in the main draw, bypassing the qualifying event. She will be up against France’s Alizé Cornet.

— with files from the Canadian Press.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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