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TENNIS: Venus Williams pulls out of tournament

Published:Wednesday | June 19, 2013 | 8:37 AM

Five-time singles champion Venus Williams has been forced to pull out of Wimbledon, which begins on Monday, because of a back injury.



The 33-year-old Williams struggled with the problem during the clay-court season and has not played since pulling out of the doubles at the French Open.



Former world number one Williams has not missed the tournament since making her debut in 1997, with her singles victories coming in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008.



She had been enjoying a decent season until the back problem occurred, reaching two semi-finals on the WTA Tour and climbing back up to 34 in the rankings.



World number one Serena Williams, sister of Venus, is seeking her sixth Wimbledon singles title and 17th Grand Slam in all.



The French Open champion is currently on a 31-match winning run, the longest single-season streak on the women's tour since Venus put together a 35-match run in 2000.



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