DUBAI, United Arab Emirates _ World No. 1 Serena Williams will unfortunately not be gracing the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with her presence this week.
Williams, who overcame an upper respiratory illness that saw her frequently in the throws of coughing fits to win the Australian Open title, is still under the weather.
Last week, Williams did travel to Buenos Aires to play Fed Cup for the U.S., but only played one match during the weekend. She sat out on Sunday, letting CoCo Vandeweghe take her place — and lose the match — in the reverse singles on Sunday. The U.S. did win the World Group II encounter courtesy of Venus Williams, and will play in the World Group Playoff round in April for a spot in the 2016 World Group draw.
Traveling the tour is demanding and not really conducive to recuperating from illness, especially when one is moving continents on a weekly basis. To make the trip to Dubai would’ve meant La Serena’s travel in the past few weeks would’ve taken her from Australia to South America and then to Asia for work.
Serena’s next scheduled stop is a long-awaited return to the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Williams recently announced she was accepting a wildcard into Indian Wells, effectively ending her 14-year boycott of the event.
Williams was last at Indian Wells in 2001 when she was scheduled to play sister Venus in an all-sistere’s semifinal. Venus withdrew from that semifinal at the last minute and Serena was heckled while playing Kim Clijsters in the final – one fan made unacceptable racial remarks to her father, Richard, as he entered the stadium to watch the final.
In an exclusive article Serena penned for Time Magazine she explained her reason for finally returning to Indian Wells. Here’s the link to the article – http://time.com/3694659/serena-williams-indian-wells/
Seventh-ranked Eugenie Bouchard, who accepted a wildcard into Dubai earlier this week, announced she was withdrawing with an arm injury sustained during her Antwerp second round loss.