Serena Williams pulls out of French Open
Serena Williams has been replaced in the French Open draw, tournament organisers confirmed on Thursday.
Williams has not played a WTA Tour match for over 10 months, so her absence from Roland Garros will come as little surprise. Two foot operations, plus a blood clot on the lung have severely disturbed the American's season.
French Open organisers revealed Japan's Junri Namigata has taken the place of the 2002 champion, who recently dropped out of the world's top 10.
Williams has not featured in a grand slam since winning Wimbledon last summer, and her participation in the event that she has won four times must now be considered to be under real threat.
The French Open could yet be hit by the further withdrawal of Venus Williams, whom organisers confess is yet to make contact.
Dinara Safina and Timea Bacsinszky have also withdrawn.