Venus Williams ends her streak of 16 consecutive appearances at Wimbledon by withdrawing from the tournament this year. She decided to pull out due to lingering back issues. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Venus Williams has pulled out of Wimbledon due to lingering issues with her lower back. She made the announcement on her Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon:
"Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in Wimbledon this year. I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal. I look forward to returning to the courts as soon as possible, with my goal being to return to Mylan World Team Tennis on July 8th in Washington DC. Many thanks to my fans for the love and support and I will be seeing you very soon back on the courts."
Williams is a five-time champion at Wimbledon, with victories in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008. The withdrawal ends her streak of 16 consecutive appearances at the tournament dating back to 1997.