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tennisIlove09
Apr 16th, 2003, 10:06 PM
Venus To Step In For Serena In Berlin

By Adrianna Outlaw
04/16/2003

The German Open lost one Williams sister, but gained another in the process. As top-ranked Serena Williams, a 2002 German Open runner-up, pulled out of the tournament last night, third-ranked Venus Williams stepped into the $1.26 million red clay court tournament, which begins on May 5th in Berlin.


Citing the need to rest and prepare for the upcoming European clay-court season, Serena announced her withdrawal from the event. A year ago, she reached the German Open final before falling to Justine Henin-Hardenne, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5). Henin-Hardenne handed Williams her first loss of the season in Sunday's Family Circle Cup final to snap the five-time Grand Slam champion's 21-match winning streak.

"After playing so many matches at the beginning of 2003, I have decided to take an additional week off to prepare for the European season," Williams said in a statement.

The defending French Open champion plans to return to tournament tennis at the $1.3 million Telecom Italia Masters, scheduled for May 12-18th in Rome. A year ago, Williams defeated Henin-Hardenne 7-6(6), 6-4 in one of the WTA Tour's best clay-court matches of the year.