Serena Williams withdraws from Cincinnati due to ongoing back injury

Serena Williams withdraws from Cincinnati due to ongoing back injury

The American retired during the Toronto final, and on Tuesday, she withdrew just before her start against Zarina Diyas.

Two-time Cincinnati champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from this week's Western & Southern Open due to an on-going back injury. 

After just playing four games in the Toronto final against 19-year-old Bianca Andreescu, the American was in tears when she forced to retire due to back spasms. She still showed up to the WTA Premier event in Cincinnati and was even spotted practicing on Tuesday morning. 

The 23-time Grand Slam champion made the withdrawal announcement shortly before the start of her scheduled opening match time on Tuesday night. The world No. 8 will instead rest and rehab before the US Open.

The 38-year-old was replaced in the draw by lucky loser Jessica Pegula, who won Washington two weeks ago.