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Serena Williams to Miss Opening Match of Hopman Cup

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Serena Williams' new tennis season will start like several of her past - with an injury affecting her preparation for the first Grand Slam event.

The winner of last year's Australian Open, Serena will miss the United States' opening match at the Hopman Cup in Perth, organizers said Thursday. The American star is trying to recover from a lingering left knee injury that forced her to pull out of the WTA Tour's season-ending championships in Madrid in November. She had been scheduled to take on India's Sania Mirza on Saturday in the first match of the team event, but will be replaced by Meghan Shaughnessy.

Tournament officials said Serena will not arrive in the Western Australia state capital until the weekend, and plans to play for the Americans in Monday's match against the Czech Republic. Player substitutions are allowed between matches.

After an injury-filled 2006, Serena had an incredible win at the 2007 Australian Open - unseeded, ranked No. 81 and beating six seeded players en route to the title. By the end of the season, she was ranked No. 7.

Serena first injured her left knee in 2000 and had surgery in 2003, forcing her to pull out of all events after Wimbledon that year.

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Posted by Shelia

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