The 2016 tennis season has seen a depressing number of injuries, and with the majors over for the year, the first wave of players announcing extended absences in the fall has arrived.
WTA No. 2 Serena Williams has withdrawn from Wuhan and Beijing, citing the right shoulder that has bothered her since losing at the Olympics and withdrawing from Cincinnati:
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) September 23, 2016
Wuhan and Beijing were the last normal tournaments on Williams’ schedule before the round robin WTA Finals, of which only she and Angie Kerber have officially qualified for as of now.
Though Williams, who turns 35 on Monday, has left the door open for the Finals in Singapore, it would not be a surprise to see her shut it down until January, just as she did in 2015 following the U.S. Open. Even if she returned, her chances of reclaiming the No. 1 for the end of the season from Kerber are very small (Williams would have to make the final in Singapore, and that’s without accounting for any points Kerber accumulates).
Over on the ATP, Borna Coric will undergo knee surgery for the problems he experienced in Cincinnati and at the U.S. Open. Coric has withdrawn from the rest of his scheduled tournaments this year, though he hopes to recover in time to play in November’s Davis Cup final against Argentina.
The news puts a possible cap on an up-and-down age-19 season for Coric. He claimed his first ATP title in Marrakech (Correction: he lost in the final) and completed Croatia’s road comeback over the U.S. this summer in the Davis Cup quarterfinals, but won just two matches at Grand Slams and finished with a losing record at 22-24, including a 9-20 mark against top 50 players.
Even if he makes it back, there are no points awarded for Davis Cup anymore, thus Coric can be projected to start 2017 ranked on the edge of, or just outside, the top 50.