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Sunday 4 December 2016

Serena Williams ends 2015 season early after withdrawing from China Open

Serena Williams of the U.S. gets up slowly from the court in the third set against Roberta Vinci of Italy during their women's singles semi-final match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Serena Williams of the U.S. gets up slowly from the court in the third set against Roberta Vinci of Italy during their women's singles semi-final match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 11, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Serena Williams has called time on her 2015 season after withdrawing from the China Open and the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The world number one, who saw her bid to land the calendar year Grand Slam ended by a semi-final defeat to Roberta Vinci at the US Open at Flushing Meadows, said she needed to give her body time to recover.

"It's no secret I've played injured most of the year - whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the final moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart," Williams said in quotes reported on the China Open website.

"I'm a fierce competitor. And I want to compete as well as I can, for as long as I can. So I am taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal.

"This is a very difficult decision, but one ultimately made because of the love of the game.

"I plan to return to practising and participating in exhibition matches later this year. And when I do, l will focus and focus and focus so I can continue my journey in this beautiful game."

The 34-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable year, with victories in the Australian Open, French Open and at Wimbledon among five titles she has won.

She lost only three of the singles matches she played in 2015.

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