Serena Williams appears at a news conference Wednesday after pulling out… (Regi Varghese / Associated…)
Two days after becoming the oldest top-ranked women's tennis player, 31-year-old Serena Williams became the latest entrant to drop out of the Dubai Championships.
Williams withdrew Wednesday 45 minutes before her scheduled match with 11th-ranked Marion Bartoli, citing a sore back and ankle she says she's had since the Australian Open.
“I've just had some back problems the past couple weeks. It didn't get better,” Williams said. “I thought it would get better as the week went on, but it didn't. I don't want to keep pushing it and make it worse.”
After falling out of the top spot in October 2010, Williams struggled with injuries and other medical issues before a stellar 2012 put her back in the top 10.
The woman Williams replaced at No. 1, Victoria Azarenka, pulled out of the Dubai tournament Tuesday because of a bone bruise in her right foot. Azarenka beat Williams in the Qatar Open final Sunday.
In Dubai, defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki were among the second-round winners Wednesday.
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