Venus Williams has pulled out of the Mutua Madrid Open this week due to an ongoing throat infection, according to Tennis.com.
The 33-year-old has allegedly been battling flu-like symptoms since bowing out of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.
Williams has not played since exiting the south-eastern US tournament at the hands of sixth-seed Eugenie Bouchard in the round of 16 in early April.
Now just over three weeks out from the opening day of the 2014 Roland Garros, the World No. 32 could find it tough to hit the ground running on the clay-courts of Paris.
The seven-time grand slam singles winner has otherwise made an impressive start to 2014 including a victory at the Dubai Championships in February.
She also reached the final of the ASB Classic – the first WTA tournament of the year – in Auckland before going down to fellow former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in January.
Williams’ next scheduled tournament is the Italian Open in Rome, which begins on 10 May.
The winner of 47 WTA singles titles has battled various health issues since 2012 with her last grand slam singles title coming at Wimbledon 2008.
Williams was sidelined from tennis for nearly 12 months after she was diagnosed with a serious autoimmune illness known as Sjogren’s syndrome.
Her WTA world ranking dropped as low as No. 135 before she returned to the circuit at 2012 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Williams is set to go into the 2014 French Open having twice won the doubles title in 1999 and 2010, but has never lifted the singles crown despite reaching the 2002 final.
A number of other top-name players in both the men’s and women’s draws have also declared they will also miss the Madrid tournament.
Last week World No. 4 Victoria Azarenka also announced her withdrawal from the WTA Premier Mandatory event because of a foot injury that has kept her off the court since the BNP Paribas Open in March.
Frenchman Gael Monfils will sit out because of the ankle injury that forced him to forfeit his semi-final clash with top-seed Grigor Dimitrov at the Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest last week.
The Bulgarian went on to claim a straight sets victory over Czech Lukas Rosol in the final.
World No. 28 Vasek Pospisil has also elected to pull out of the competition with a lingering back injury that has seen him miss large chunks of the season.
He has tasted defeat in his last seven outings – including disheartening losses to two players ranked outside the top 100.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU