Serena in doubt for Italy

2010-03-31 17:42

Rome - Top-ranked Serena Williams has not entered the Italian Open, although she could still play as a wild card, tournament director Sergio Palmieri said Wednesday.

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.

Palmieri told The Associated Press that he spoke with Williams in Miami recently, and that she asked him to hold a wild-card spot open in case she decides to play.

The rest of the players in the world's top 10 - including Serena's sister, Venus - are entered, Palmieri said.

Palmieri added that former No. 1 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 and may not return in time.

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