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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tennis: Serena Williams questionable for Italian Open

Associated Press

ROME Top-ranked Serena Williams has not entered the Italian Open, although she could still play as a wild card.

Tournament director Sergio Palmieri told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he recently spoke with Williams in Miami, and she asked him to hold a wild-card spot open.

Williams has been sidelined with a knee injury since her Australian Open title in January.

Williams won in 2002 in Rome, a key clay-court warmup for the French Open, en route to her only title at Roland Garros.

The rest of the top 10 players including sister, Venus are entered, Palmieri said.

He added that Justine Henin, who recently came out of retirement, would "probably not" play in Rome.

The tournament begins May 3, with the men's event the week before.

Palmieri said all of the top men's players are expected, with the exception of sixth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who is out for a month with a broken left wrist.

A new 10,500-seat stadium will be used for the first time at the Rome tournament this year.