Serena Williams Withdraws From Australian Warm-Up Event With Ankle Injury

Serena Williams withdrew from the Brisbane International tennis tournament, a tuneup for this month’s Australian Open, with an ankle injury.

Williams, who was playing in her first competition since losing the U.S. Open final in September, twisted her ankle in a 6-2, 6-4 win over Serbia’s Bojana Jovanovski.

An MRI scan showed she had “a left ankle sprain that I probably shouldn’t play on,” Williams said in a statement e- mailed today by tournament organizers.

The Australian Open, where Williams has won five of her 13 Grand Slam singles titles, starts Jan. 16 in Melbourne. Williams missed the 2011 edition while she was recovering from two operations on her feet after she said she walked through glass. She received treatment for blood clots in her lungs in February and didn’t return to the women’s tour until the grass-court season in June.

“I’m still hopeful of playing the Australian Open,” Williams said. “I’m going to take a couple of days off - not too many - and see how I feel.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Danielle Rossingh at the London sports desk at; Dan Baynes at

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