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Injury scare for Serena

INJURED AGAIN: Serena Williams

SERENA WILLIAMS has had an injury scare just a week before the start of the US Open. Williams has withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open tournament in Miami due to a foot problem.

Her decision to rest her troublesome right foot cost the women's bracket yet another high-profile player and raised doubts about her readiness for the US. Open.

"I don't think this is a good time for me to take a big chance," she admitted.

Williams is on a run of 12 straight wins after successive titles at Stanford and Toronto, but the WTA explained that the 29-year-old had aggravated an injury to the big toe on her right foot.

"I felt a pain while playing (in the first round on Tuesday) and I don't think it's the right time to be taking risks," said Williams, who underwent a foot operation after winning Wimbledon in July 2010. That injury, followed by a pulmonary embolism, kept her away from the courts for almost a year.

She returned at Eastbourne in June, with her world ranking having slipped to 175, but the successes at Stanford and Toronto have seen her rocket up the rankings to 31 this week.

"I'll take a rest and prepare for the US Open as best as I can," added Williams, who is seeking a 14th Grand Slam singles crown.

Williams' withdrawal allowed Australian world number 10 Samantha Stosur - who lost to the American in the Toronto final on Sunday - to advance to a third-round contest with Chinese world number five Li Na.

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