World No.1 Serena Williams has been kept out of the 2016 Qatar Total Open as a result of flu.
The 21 Grand Slam singles titles winner was among the stars expected to set the courts of the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Doha on fire as the prestigious tournament kicks off on February 21 before the unfortunate withdrawal.
Announcing her withdrawal, Serena said, “I unfortunately have to withdraw from the Qatar Total Open as I have come down with the flu and do not feel 100 percent. I need to take this time to recover but I do look forward to returning to Doha and seeing my fans soon.”
Tennis superstars including Simona Halep; Champion of Qatar Total Open 2014, Garbine Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and the defending Champion Lucie Safarova are still in the fray for the top-tier tournament.
Tournament Director Saad al Mohannadi said, “Although we will miss the presence of the World No. 1 Serena Williams, but the tournament remains one of the most keenly contested on the WTA Tour with the quality of the field we have in Doha. This year will definitely witness more competitive field as the superstars slug it out on the courts. We hope to see Serena in Doha next year as we wish her a quick recovery.”
Serena was a finalist at the 2013 tournament where she lost 7–6(8–6), 2–6, 6–3 to Victoria Azarenka.