Venus Williams forced to pull out of Brisbane International season-opener due to 'unexpected setback' in training

Venus Williams hopes to be fit in time for the Australian Open (PA Images)
Venus Williams hopes to be fit in time for the Australian Open (PA Images)
7:40am, Thu 02 Jan 2020
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Former world No 1 tennis player Venus Williams has been forced to pull out of this month's season-opening Brisbane International tennis tournament.

The 39-year-old, seven time grand slam champion suffered an "unexpected setback" in training but still hopes to compete in the Australian Open at the end of the month.

Williams has not won a grand slam since she claimed her fifth Wimbledon title in 2008 and has since suffered numerous injuries as well as suffering from Sjögren's syndrome. This is an auto-immune disease with a wide range of symptoms ranging from joint pain and dry mouth to swelling, numbness, digestive problems and fatigue. 

A replacement for the World No 52 has not yet been announced but other high profile players including world No 1 Ashleigh Barty, defending Champion Naomi Osaka, and wildcard Maria Sharapova are all preparing for the first tournament of the year.

The Brisbane International starts on January 6 ahead of the Australian open, which begins on January 20.

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