Serena Williams withdrew from the Italian Open on Tuesday ahead of her second-round match against her sister Venus Williams because of an injured left knee.
Tournament organizers made the announcement on Tuesday, a day after Serena Williams opened her clay-court season with a straight-sets win over the Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson.
“I must withdraw from the Italian Open due to pain in my left knee,” Williams said, according to the WTA website. “I will miss the fans and competition at one of my favorite tournaments. I’ll be concentrating on rehab and look forward to seeing you all at the French Open and next year in Rome.”
The next tournament on her schedule is the French Open, which starts in less than two weeks.
It’s the third straight tournament that Williams, 37, has exited from because of physical problems.
She retired because of a viral illness during her third-round match against Garbiñe Muguruza in Indian Wells, California; and withdrew with the same left knee injury before her third-round match at the Miami Open in March.
As a result of this latest withdrawal, Venus Williams advances into the third round via a walkover.