FULL STORY: Venus withdraws from Acura Classic with sprained wrist
CARLSBAD, California (Ticker) - Three-time champion Venus Williams was forced to withdraw Tuesday from the $1.3 million Acura Classic with a sprained right wrist.
Williams was due to meet Gisela Dulko of Argentina in a first-round match. But the four-time Grand Slam champion - who has been hampered by injuries over the last two years - decided approximately two hours before taking the court that it would be wiser to rest in front of next month's Olympics and U.S. Open.
Instead of facing the 11th seed and one of the top power players in women's tennis, Dulko will face lucky loser Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand, the highest ranked player who failed to qualify for the main draw.
The disappointed Williams was to address the center court crowd at the La Costa Hotel and Spa before heading off for treatment.
It was a freak injury for Williams, who tweaked her wrist Saturday after bending down to tie her sneakers hours before facing eventual champion Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals of the $585,000 JP Morgan Chase Open.
"I was tying my shoe and just pressed up on my arms and when I pushed off of my wrist, I kind of tweaked it there," she said at the time.
Williams won the first five games of the match before being overcome with pain that forced her to retire at 5-7, 0-2, having dropped nine straight games.
07-27-04 15:13 ET