Serena Williams has joined the growing list of tennis superstars that will not be participating in the upcoming Miami Open. Williams said a recent oral surgery is the reason she will not be playing in the upcoming tournament.
Williams added that the Miami Open is a tournament she looks forward to and expressed disappointed in having to miss it.
"Miami is a special tournament for me because it's my home. I am sad I won't be able to see the incredible fans this year, but I look forward to coming back soon," she said in a statement on Sunday.
The tennis icon, who lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has won the tournament eight times -- more than any other player. Her most recent win in Miami came in 2015.
Miami Open tournament director James Blake said not having Williams participate is a great loss.
"We will certainly miss having Serena at this year's tournament and I know it was a very difficult decision for her," he said in a statement. "She has won the Miami Open more than any player in history, has a home here in South Florida, and is always a fan favorite. "
Fellow tennis superstars Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are also sitting out of the Miami Open. Djokovic directly cited COVID restrictions as the reason he isn't participating.
"I decided to use this precious time at home to stay with my family," Djokovic said in a statement. "With all restrictions, I need to find balance in my time on tour and at home."
Nadal and Federer both said health issues are the reason they won't be playing in the tournament.
The Miami Open is taking place at Hard Rock Stadium from March 24 to April 4.