Tennis: Serena Williams withdraws from Cincinnati Masters with back problems

In a picture taken on Aug 11, 2019, Serena Williams becomes upset after withdrawing from the final match against Bianca Andreescu at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada.
In a picture taken on Aug 11, 2019, Serena Williams becomes upset after withdrawing from the final match against Bianca Andreescu at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Serena Williams withdrew from the Cincinnati Masters on Tuesday (Aug 13) due to back problems just days after spasms forced her to retire from the Rogers Cup final in Toronto.

"I came to Mason on Sunday and have tried everything to be ready to play tonight, and was still hopeful after my practice this morning," the 23-time Grand Slam champion said.

"But unfortunately my back is still not right."

Williams, twice champion at the Cincinnati Masters, had been hoping to use the tournament as a final tune-up ahead of this month's US Open.

She had been in menacing form in Toronto before retiring early in the first set of the final against Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.