Serena Williams has opted out of the Indian Wells open and Miami open, citing a left knee injury. She will lose her top spot in the singles rankings and Angelique Kerber will return to the World No. 1 after the Indian Wells tournament. Serena needed to reach the quarters of the Indian Wells to retain her spot at the top, but will be unable to do so.
She took to the site of BNP Paribas open on Wednesday, to announce her withdrawal. Serena added, “I have not been able to train due to my knees and am disappointed I cannot be there. I will keep moving forward and continue to be positive. I look forward to being back as soon as I can.” Serena and Venus had returned to the BNP Paribas open after 2001, when she was racially abused, and booed by the spectators, who also hurled insults at her family, resulting in her withdrawal from the doubles tournament with her sister Venus, minutes before the match. Venus Williams will, however, return to the tournament for the second straight year after ending her boycott in 2015, having had a phenomenal run at the Australian open.
Angelique Kerber will relinquish her opportunity to return to the top spot and will look to extended the point difference before Serena is up and running again.