Serena Williams has withdrawn from the WTA Finals for the second straight year as she continues to recover from a right shoulder injury. She has not played since losing her No. 1 ranking to Angelique Kerber in August.
The WTA announced Monday that Williams, currently No. 2 in the WTA world rankings, will not take part in the WTA Finals in Singapore that starts on October 23. Williams, 35, explained her decision in a video posted on their twitter feed.
Williams participated in only eight tournaments in 2016 and won two of them, including Wimbledon. Shoulder troubles hampered her in the Olympics and the US Open, losing to 10th seed Karolina Pliskova in the semifinal at the Flushing Meadows. The American’s 186-week reign as the World No. 1 came to an end as Angelique Kerber eclipsed her following the German’s US Open victory.
The withdrawal opens the door for Johanna Konta, Carla Suarez Navarro and Svetlana Kuznetsova to snag the eighth spot in the tournament. Either Navarro or Kuznetsova must win the title in Moscow at the VTB Kremlin Cup to edge out Konta for the final qualifying spot.
Kerber, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova have already qualified for the WTA Finals. Radwanska is the reigning Champion and has won three WTA tournaments in 2016.