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US player Serena Williams celebrates after winning her women's semi-final match against Netherlands' Kiki Bertens at the Roland Garros 2016 French Tennis Open in Paris on June 3, 2016. / AFP / PHILIPPE LOPEZ (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Serena Withdraws From 2018 Madrid Open

American female tennis ace, Serena Williams, has withdrawn from Madrid Open, which is billed to serve off next week.

Serena has not been seen on the WTA Tour since losing to Naomi Osaka in the first round in Miami and has decided she needs more preparation time to compete on clay.

However, the 23-time grand slam champion suffered early exits at Indian Wells and Miami in her only two competitive outings this year, following a 14-month lay-off to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia.

The organiser’s spokesperson, Manolo Santana said: “We regret the absence of Serena. 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.”

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