By E.J. Crawford
Reigning Australian Open champion Li Na will not have the chance to add a second hard-court major title in 2014.
The 2013 US Open semifinalist has pulled out of the 2014 US Open with a knee injury, making the announcement Thursday on her Facebook page. She also withdrew from the Emirates Airline US Open Series events in Cincinnati (Western & Southern Open) and Montreal (Rogers Cup).
In addition to her run to the semis a year ago, Li advanced to the US Open quarterfinals in 2009 and to the round of 16 in 2006 and 2008. The world No. 2 has also enjoyed success in the Series, winning the title at the Western & Southern Open in 2012 and reaching the semifinals there and at the Rogers Cup a year ago.
Li is a two-time Grand Slam tournament champion, having also won the French Open in 2011.
“I wanted to let all of my great fans know that, unfortunately, I am going to have to withdraw from the upcoming WTA events in Montreal and Cincinnati, as well as the US Open,” Li said on Facebook. “Since March, I have been struggling with my knee and it is just not where I need it to be in order to play at the highest level. My medical team has advised me that I need to take some time off to rest my knee so it heals. I look forward to getting back on the court this fall in Wuhan and Beijing.”
Romania’s Simona Halep will replace Li as the No. 2 player in the world on Aug. 11, according to the WTA website, making her the likely No. 2 seed at the Open behind two-time defending champion Serena Williams.