Venus Williams Pulls Out of ASB Classic

Venus Williams Pulls Out of ASB Classic

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Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams  withdrew from next month’s ASB Classic in Auckland because of health issues, tournament organizers said.

Williams, 31, has been receiving treatment for Sjogren’s syndrome, which can cause fatigue and joint pain. After playing a number of recent exhibitions, Williams told her agent Carlos Fleming she wasn’t ready to play at the Jan. 2-7 event, according to a statement  on the tournament’s official website.

The ASB Classic falls two weeks before the Australian Open, the tennis season’s first major championship, which starts Jan. 16 inMelbourne .

Williams is ranked 102 in the world after playing just four WTA tournaments in 2011. Her best result was at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net