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Serena Williams withdraws from Italian Open with achilles problem

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the upcoming Italian Open citing the achilles problem that troubled her during her defeat by Victoria Azarenka in the US Open semi-finals, organisers have announced.

Williams, a four-times champion in Rome, took a medical timeout for treatment on her achilles during her three-set loss in New York on Thursday. The Italian Open, which was rescheduled from May due to the coronavirus pandemic, is due to begin on Monday.

In the men’s tournament, the US Open finalists Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev withdrew, as did Daniil Medvedev, who lost to Thiem in the semi-finals in New York.

Rafael Nadal headlines the field at the Foro Italico, the nine-times champion marking his return to tennis after a seven-month layoff. The Spaniard has been practising in Rome for several days. Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, who was disqualified at the US Open, has also entered the clay-court tournament, the warm-up event to the French Open, which starts on 27 September.