The two-time defending champion and World No. 1 withdrew from the tournament Monday due to a shoulder injury. Williams practiced at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason in the morning and then made her decision.
“I’m very disappointed I’m not able to compete in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, as I was really looking forward to defending my title,” Williams said. “My shoulder inflammation continues to be a challenge, but I am anxious to return to the court as soon as possible.”
The shoulder ailment also caused Williams to pull out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal last month.
Although Williams did not enter the W&S Open by a July deadline, she accepted a wild card last week after playing in the Olympics. Her stay in Rio was short, as she was stunned by Elina Svitolina in the third round of singles and with sister Venus bowed out of doubles in the first round.