Venus Williams out of ASB Classic through injury

Good news:

Venus Williams has pulled out of the ASB Classic in Auckland next month due to ongoing health issues.

The 31-year-old has played a number of exhibition matches recently but is still suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes fatigue and joint pain.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion has not played in a tournament since the US Open and has only played four times in 2011.

“We are disappointed to have lost a player of her calibre,” said ASB Classic director Richard Palmer. “While withdrawals of this nature are part and parcel of sport, we sincerely feel for the fans who will also be disappointed by the news of Venus’ withdrawal.

“Next month’s ASB Classic field is one of the strongest in the tournament’s history with four players in the top 20, the eight seeds in the top 30 and all 24 direct entries in the top 70 in the world.

“This is still an exceptional field despite the withdrawal of Venus Williams.”

Williams is also likely to miss the Australian Open which begins on January 16.

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