Back injury sidelines Venus Williams at Sony Open

Updated: March 23, 2013, 11:36 PM ET
Associated Press

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- A big match beckoned for Venus Williams on a court where she first hoisted the championship trophy 15 years ago.

Alas, on Saturday she wasn't up to any heavy lifting.

The three-time Key Biscayne champion withdrew from the Sony Open because of a lower back injury shortly before her third-round match against fellow American Sloane Stephens.

Williams, seeded 19th, was extended to three sets in the second round Thursday against Kimiko Date-Krumm. She said her ...

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