Serena Williams: 23-time Grand Slam champion withdraws from Madrid Open

Serena Williams
Serena Williams crashed out of March's Miami Open in the first round

Serena Williams has withdrawn from next week's Madrid Open, stating she needs more time to prepare for her first clay season since giving birth.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion fell to early exits at Indian Wells and the Miami Open in her only previous WTA Tour appearances this year.

Williams, 36, is a two-time champion in the Spanish capital, winning the 2012 and 2013 editions of the tournament.

"We regret the absence of Serena," organiser Manolo Santana said.

"She is one of the great champions of our sport, she has always offered a show to the tournament and we hope to see her again at the Caja Magica in the future."

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