ROME (AP) Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week’s Italian Open, saying she needs more time to be “100 percent ready to compete.”
The tournament made the announcement via Twitter.
Williams returned to the tour briefly this year after a 14-month absence to give birth to her daughter.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion also withdrew from this week’s Madrid Open and sitting out Rome puts her status for the French Open, which starts May 27, in doubt.
Williams, a four-time Italian Open champion, has not played since her a first-round loss to Naomi Osaka in March at the Miami Open.
Catherine Bellis takes Williams’ place in the Rome draw.
NUREMBERG, Germany — Swedish player Johanna Larsson won her first WTA singles title in three years by beating Alison Riske of the United States 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the final of the Nuremberg Cup on Saturday.
Her only other career singles victory was on home soil at Bastad in 2015.
Having come from a set down to win matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals, Larsson rallied from a break down in the first set and won the last four points of the tiebreaker. Larsson then won the final five games to take the match and deny Riske a second career singles title.
“When I held for 4-2, I could see some signs that she was a little bit tired,” Larsson said, “and that gave me a lot of energy to fight back.”
STRASBOURG, France — Third-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia won the Strasbourg International after laboring to a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6) win against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia on Saturday.
They spent 3 hours, 35 minutes on court in a grueling contest, which ended when Pavlyuchenkova sealed victory on her second serve.
Pavlyuchenkova won her first title of the year and 12th overall, beating Cibulkova for the fourth time in their 11 career meetings.
Fifth-seeded Cibulkova was bidding for her ninth career title.
Both players head to the French Open in Paris, where first-round play starts Sunday.
Cibulkova reached the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2009, while Pavlyuchenkova reached her only quarterfinal there in 2013.