Defending champion Serena Williams withdraws from Swedish Open

Serena Williams had to stop her doubles match at Wimbledon earlier this month due to a viral illness.  

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STOCKHOLM — Swedish Open organizers say defending champion Serena Williams will not appear at the tournament next week because she doesn’t feel in top form.

Tournament spokesman Marcus Duner said Friday that the top-seeded American had decided to use one of her two allowed annual withdrawals, with Williams saying in a statement that she was "still not at 100 percent."

At Wimbledon, Williams couldn’t get the ball over the net in a doubles match with her sister Venus, stopping after three games because of what was called a viral illness.

Williams told organizers she was sad to miss Bastad.

"It was my favorite spot to play last year and I am deeply saddened I cannot return," she said.

Her withdrawal moves South African Chanelle Scheepers into the main draw.