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Pullout comes after top seeding

8/2/2004

LONDON -- Serena
Williams' woes continue, as she was forced to withdraw from
this week's $1.3 million Rogers Cup in Montreal.

The American who lost her Wimbledon crown to Maria Sharapova
last month is troubled by ongoing left knee inflammation and
decided to skip the Canadian event late on Sunday.

"I don't want to risk further aggravating this injury, so I
am going to rest my knee and undergo standard therapy for it
this week in the hopes that I will be ready for the rest of my
scheduled play, including the Olympics and the U.S. Open," she
said in a statement.

The Olympics runs from Aug. 13-29 in Athens, and the U.S.
Open begins in New York on August 30.

The six-time Grand Slam champion -- now without a Slam to
her name for the first time since early 2002 -- suffered the
injury in San Diego last week.

The injury was to the same knee on which Serena had surgery
last August. Then she was sidelined for eight months as she
recuperated, and only returned to the tour in
March.

Serena had talked last week about playing when injured.

"It's almost as if people don't care if you play hurt. It's
all about making money. I'm about making money. That's what it
is all about," she said on Friday, adding that it would be worse
for the tour if she played and injured herself further.

On Sunday night she said: "I am so disappointed that I will
not be able to play the Rogers Cup as I have really been
enjoying the summer hardcourt tennis season.

"But following my MRI on Saturday in Los Angeles and on the
advice of my doctors and physical therapists, I have made the
difficult decision to give my knee more time to fully recover."