Question marks over Serena Williams’ French Open return after Rome withdrawal

Serena Williams’ start to the clay-court season has again been pushed back after she withdrew from the Italian Open.

The former world No 1 hasn’t played competitive tennis since the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open in March where she lost in the early rounds in both tournaments.

She was initially expected to start her clay-court season at this week’s Madrid Open, but opted to train at home, saying she is hoping to make her comeback in Rome.

However, she has now also withdrawn from Italian Open and there are major doubts over whether she will play at the French Open.

Roland-Garros starts on May 28 and Williams hasn’t featured in the event since she finished runner-up to Garbine Muguruza in 2016.