Two-time champion Venus Williams and 2020 WTA Player of the Year Sofia Kenin both took to social media to announce their withdrawals from this year's US Open.
Williams announced on Wednesday that she would not be participating in this year's US Open starting next week, due to a persistent leg injury.
"It's super, super, super disappointing," Williams said, in a video which she posted to her Twitter and Instagram accounts. "I'm having some issues with my leg all this summer, and just couldn't work through it.
"I tried my best here in Chicago [at the WTA 250 Chicago Women's Open], but I just was unable to figure out the equation. And there's been so many times where I've been able to figure it out, even not in the best of my health, but this time, I just couldn't make any miracles work."
Williams's announcement comes the same day as younger sister Serena's withdrawal from the year's final Grand Slam event, due to a hamstring injury.
Not the best news everyone. I am joining @serenawilliams @RafaelNadal and @rogerfederer on the injured list. It’s still going to be a great US Open & many thanks to the @usta for the wild card. I was so looking forward to it, but it was not meant to be this year. I will be back! pic.twitter.com/s0PRgdSSx2— Venus Williams (@Venuseswilliams) August 25, 2021
Williams had her Grand Slam breakthrough at the 1997 US Open, where she zoomed to the final as an unseeded 17-year-old. Three years later, she won the 2000 title in Flushing Meadows, then defended her crown the following year for two of her seven Grand Slam singles titles.
"I'm going to miss the Open," former World No.1 Williams said. "It's my favorite Slam. I've had so many amazing memories there, and I can't wait to get back out on the court, whenever that is. I'll work with my team to make it as soon as I can."
Still, Williams kept her spirits up with humor in her announcement. "I'm not used to being able to have some free time at all, and I know I said that this year I was 'undateable' at Wimbledon, but I've changed my mind," she smiled. "Now that I have free time, I am accepting applications."
Williams is currently at World No.147 in the WTA singles rankings. She was initially awarded a wildcard into the US Open main draw, but snuck in as a direct entry earlier in the week after the withdrawal of Kirsten Flipkens.
On Monday, Williams lost in the first round of the Chicago Women's Open to Hsieh Su-wei, in the first meeting between the two fan favorites.
"In all seriousness, I am really disappointed," the 41-year-old WTA Legend continued. "It's a tough time right now, but like all tough times, they don't last forever.
"Regardless, I'm wishing all players the best of luck this year. Be well -- don't get hurt like I did. Stay safe, and everybody enjoy the US Open, I know I'll be watching from home."
I plan to spend the next several weeks getting healthy and preparing to play well this fall. Thank you all for supporting me. I want to wish all the players the best of luck in New York. 2/2— Sofia Kenin (@SofiaKenin) August 26, 2021
On Wednesday evening, Kenin also announced her withdrawal, as the 22-year-old American tweeted that she would be out of the US Open after positive tests for Covid-19.
"Fortunately I am vaccinated and thus my symptoms have been fairly mild," Kenin tweeted. "However I have continued to test positive and thus will not be able to compete at the US Open next week."
"I plan to spend the next several weeks getting healthy and preparing to play well this fall," the World No.5 continued. "Thank you all for supporting me. I want to wish all the players the best of luck in New York."
Kenin would have been the top-ranked American in the field at her home Grand Slam next week. She reached two Grand Slam finals last year, winning the 2020 Australian Open title for her first major victory, then making the Roland Garros final at the end of the season.
Kenin has not played on tour since a second-round loss to Madison Brengle at Wimbledon.