Second seed Serena Williams retired from her first round match against Francesca Schiavone with a knee injury, after losing the opening set 6-4.
Ahead of the Madrid Open, Williams criticized the WTA Tour injury rules commenting that players would be fined for pulling out of a tournament even if they were dead:
Unfortunately it doesn’t matter if you’re injured, if you’re dead or if you’re alive, if you don’t play they’re going to fine you heavily. So I have to play whether I am injured or not. That’s just how it is so I have no choice.
Williams, who is currently remodeling a house, added:
I’m not into throwing away thousands and thousands of dollars. I don’t know about anyone else but $75,000 is a lot of money to me. That’s like my whole furniture bill, and some stairs, rugs.
Additional info: Ana Ivanovic pulled out prior to the Madrid Open, also with a knee injury. Ivanovic will have to visit the Madrid area within the next 51 weeks and perform promotional activities to avoid a fine and suspension. She will also forsake up to $250,000 in Top 10 Bonus Pool payments. (sources: Reuters, BBC; photo by our reader Jacob)