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double-dog daredevil
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Speedy recovery, V.

From the WTA's website:

BERLIN, Germany – World No. 3 Venus Williams has today withdrawn from the Mastercard German Open (May 5-11), where she was seeded second behind Belgium’s Kim Clijsters, due to a left abdominal strain.

Williams, was forced to retire during the J & S Cup final in Warsaw, Poland, trailing No. 2 seed Amelie Mauresmo 67(6), 60, 30. Having saved two set points in the first set tiebreak, the world No. 3 proceeded to lose the next nine games in a row.

“I started to feel it in the first set,” said Williams after the final. “At first I thought it was a stomach-ache and I didn’t want to believe it was an injury. But then it got progressively worse and really affected me on my serve. I talked to the trainer at the end of the second set but unfortunately wasn’t able to finish the third set.”

“Afterwards I thought about Berlin and made the difficult decision to pull out of there. I’m very disappointed as I’ve always enjoyed playing in Germany and the fans are always very knowledgeable and appreciative of tennis there. My plan right now is to take each day at a time, have some rest and hopefully be fully fit again as soon as possible.”

Williams was due to make her second appearance at the German Open, having fallen in the third round in 2001 to then-No. 18 ranked Justine Henin-Hardenne.

Her withdrawal moves a lucky loser into the main draw, and means that the following six seeding changes occur to the main draw, due to the original seeding groups they were drawn in and because the withdrawal occurred after the Sunday 4pm deadline:

No. 3 seed Justine Henin-Hardenne moves into the No. 2 spot
No. 5 seed Amelie Mauresmo moves into the No. 3 spot
No. 9 seed Anastasia Myskina moves into the No. 5 spot
No. 13 seed Ai Sugiyama moves into the No. 9 spot
and France’s Nathalie Dechy becomes the 17th seed in place of the No. 13 spot
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