Serena out of Kremlin Cup, says ankle needs time to heal

Updated: October 3, 2008, 2:43 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

STUTTGART, Germany -- Serena Williams has pulled out of next week's Kremlin Cup because of an ankle injury.

The WTA Tour announced Williams' withdrawal on Friday. The U.S. Open champion will fall from the No. 1 ranking on Monday because of her loss to Li Na in the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix this week. Jelena Jankovic will regain the top spot.

Williams also pulled out of the doubles competition in Stuttgart shortly before she was due to team up with her sister Venus on Thursday.

"My left ankle has been bothering me since the U.S. Open and I need to take a break now to get it back to 100 percent," the U.S. Open champion was quoted as saying by the tournament organizers.

"I have played a lot this year and my body needs to recover. My goal is to try and get the No. 1 ranking back," Serena Williams said.

Williams reached the final last year in Moscow, losing to Elena Dementieva.

Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also withdrew from the men's field because of an abdominal injury.

The women's field is the strongest in the 19-year history of the $2.3 million tournament, which starts in Moscow on Monday, with eight of the world's top 10 players taking part.

Only Williams and world No. 6 Maria Sharapova, who is nursing a shoulder injury, will be absent.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.