World No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this week, citing a left knee injury.
As the top seed in the draw, Serena was set to play either Monica Puig or American qualifier Danielle Collins in her opening match. Serena's withdrawal opens up her half of the draw, which includes an unseeded Belinda Bencic, Garbine Muguruza, a streaking Elina Svitolina and young American CiCi Bellis. With Serena's withdraw, World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova moves into Serena's spot and No. 5-seed Dominika Cibulkova moves into Pliskova’s spot. Main draw play begins on Wednesday, and updated draws can be found here.
Serena also confirmed that she will miss the Miami Open, which takes place after Indian Wells from March 21-April 2.
With Serena out of the draw, World No. 2 Angelique Kerber will reclaim the top ranking after the tournament concludes on March 19. After winning the Australian Open in January, Serena took back the top ranking from Kerber, who overtook her in the fall during the U.S. Open, where she won her second major title.
Last year, Serena lost in the final to Victoria Azarenka. In 2015, she ended her 14-year boycott of the tournament, returning to Indian Wells for the first time since an ugly racial incident overshadowed her run to the title in 2001.