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Serena Williams ends season early to focus on health

MADRID, SPAIN – MAY 4 : Serena Williams in action at the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open WTA Premier Mandatory tennis tournament (Photo credit: Jimmie48 Photography / Shutterstock.com)

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It’s the end of the road for tennis champ Serena Williams, who has opted to withdraw from the WTA Finals as well as the China Open to focus on her health.

Williams, who was two wins under her belt from completing a calendar-year Grand Slam at the US Open, said she is “taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal.”

“It’s no secret I’ve played injured most of the year, whether it was my elbow, my knee, or, in the final moments after a certain match in Flushing, my heart,” Williams was quoted on the China Open website. “This is a very difficult decision, but one ultimately made because of the love of the game.”

In 2015, the 34-year-old won the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon. But she missed out on becoming the first player since 1988 to win all four titles in the same season after a heartbreaking loss to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semifinals.

WTA president Micky Lawler weighed in on the situation in a statement on Thursday saying, “Serena’s health has to be her No. 1 priority — The risk of injury is a reality in the world of elite athletic performance. We will miss seeing Serena on court in both Beijing and Singapore and wish her a speedy recovery.”

And while Williams‘ has decided to step away from the game for now, she still remains just one title away from tying Steffi Graf’s career total of 22 Grand Slam championships and three behind Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24. With her Open result, Drake’s rumored boo has already nabbed the year-end No. 1 ranking.

We anticipate that once she returns, she’ll be fully focused and ready to reclaim her throne.