Venus consolation for Berlin as Serena pulls out
BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) - Venus Williams confirmed she would be taking part in next month's German Open despite her younger sister Serena pulling out of the tournament.
The WTA Tour announced late on Tuesday that world number one Serena had pulled out of the $1.24 million Berlin tournament, which begins on May 5, to rest and prepare for the rest of the European season.
"Well, at least her sister Venus will be coming," a spokeswoman for the German Open said.
She said tournament director Eberhard Wensky learned of Serena's withdrawal on Tuesday evening but heard of the confirmation of world number three Venus at the same time.
"We naturally would have loved to have had Serena, but it can't be," the spokeswoman said.
Serena's decision to skip the Berlin event means the 21-year-old's next scheduled event is the $1.3 million Telecom Italia Masters, beginning on May 12, in Rome, Italy.
"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," said Serena, who holds all four grand slam titles.
She reached the final in Berlin last year but lost in three sets to Belgium's Justine Henin-Hardenne, who will play in next month's tournament.
Williams also lost to Henin-Hardenne in the final of Charleston's Family Circle Cup last weekend -- the first defeat of the year for the American.
The Berlin event now has confirmation from seven of the women's top 10 players.
The Official Fashionista of the Royal Court