Venus Williams pulls out of Wimbledon
Five-time singles champion Venus Williams has pulled out of Wimbledon because of a back injury.
The 33-year-old struggled with the problem during the clay-court season and has not played since withdrawing from the doubles at Roland Garros with sister Serena.
Williams wrote on her Facebook page: "Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in Wimbledon this year.
"I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal.
"I look forward to returning to the courts as soon as possible, with my goal being to return to Mylan World Team Tennis on July 8th in Washington DC.
"Many thanks to my fans for the love and support and I will be seeing you very soon back on the courts."
Williams has become increasingly prone to injury as well as battling the auto-immune disease Sjogren's Syndrome.
She had been having a decent season until her back problems, reaching two semi-finals on the WTA Tour and climbing back up to 34 in the rankings.
Williams had never missed Wimbledon since her debut in 1997 and was the singles champion at the All England Club in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008.
She suffered her first opening-round defeat last year since 1997 to Elena Vesnina but won the doubles title for a fifth time with Serena.