Serena Williams announced today that she was withdrawing from the China Open in Beijing and the WTA Year-End Championships in Singapore, bringing her 2015 professional tennis season to an early close. Despite losing her chance to accomplish the career grand slam by losing in the semifinals of the 2015 U.S. Open, the World #1 still won 3 major titles (Australia, Roland Garros and Wimbledon) winning 53 matches and losing 3 (to Roberta Vinci, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic).
Serena's statement in full is below:
"It's no secret I've played injured most of the year -- whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the final moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart.
"I'm a fierce competitor. And I want to compete as well as I can, for as long as I can. So I am taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal.
"This is a very difficult decision but one ultimately made because of the love of the game.
"I plan to return to practicing and participating in exhibition matches later this year. And when I do, l will focus and focus and focus so I can continue my journey in this beautiful game."Serena's withdrawal could cost her financially. She will lose $450,000 in potential bonus money because she did not end up playing the four mandatory Premier tournaments in 2015.
Even by ending her season in September Serena's list of accomplishments in 2015 is impressive. She will end the year at World #1 for the fifth time in her career and next week, Serena will rise to #3 in the all-time list of most weeks at #1 (behind Steffi Graf at 377 and Martina Navratilova at 332) when she enjoys her 261st week at the top. She currently has such a huge lead at #1 that she will be #1 at least through the start of the 2016 Australia Open, where she will begin her quest to match Graf's gaudy total of 24 major career titles.