*It’s the absolute last thing she wanted to do, but Serena Williams has dropped out of the U.S. Open, saying she still is recovering from surgery to repair cuts on her right foot.
The top-ranked Williams has won three titles at Flushing Meadows, part of her 13 Grand Slam singles championships, the most among active women. Last year, she lost in the U.S. Open semifinals after a tirade at a line judge over a foot-fault call, an outburst that drew a record fine.
“It is with much frustration and deep sadness that I am having to pull out of the U.S. Open,” Williams said in a statement released by her publicist.
She is the first No. 1 woman to miss the U.S. Open since the rankings began in 1975, according to the U.S. Tennis Association.
Williams said doctors advised her not to play so her foot can heal, and she called missing the tournament “one of the most devastating moments of my career.”