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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 20:47 GMT 21:47 UK
Serena targets late-summer return
Serena Williams looked out of sorts at the Australian Open
Williams will skip the French Open and Wimbledon
Two-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has revealed she will not play again until "the end of the summer".

Williams' decision appears to rule her out of the French Open and Wimbledon.

But the 24-year-old, who has been sidelined since the Australian Open with a knee injury, scotched growing speculation she could quit for good.

"I fully intend to be competing in the coming months. My doctors say I should be in a position to be playing again by the end of the summer," she said.

Williams has played just four matches since last year's US Open, among them a third-round exit at the Australian Open, where she appeared to lack both conviction and fitness.

The American has withdrawn from events in Tokyo, Dubai, Charleston and Miami and has earned hefty fines as a result.

More seriously for the multi-millionaire, she has dropped to 106th in the world rankings.

I'm more excited than ever to resume my playing career as soon as my body is ready
Serena Williams

The recurring knee injury has been a factor in her decline - her 57-week spell as the world number one was ended by knee surgery in September 2003.

But there are other reasons, notably the distractions of her own fashion label, cosmetic range and her acting ambitions.

And the fatal shooting of older sister Yetunde, also in September 2003, affected both Serena and Venus Williams deeply.

Venus went on to capture a suprise Wimbledon crown last season and remains in the top 20.

She stated: "Sometimes life throws you punches and you have to get up. Because if you don't get up, people will walk all over you."

And Serena insists she is determined to make a comeback, too.

"I want everyone to know that I will be back on the tennis court," said Serena.

"I'm more excited than ever to resume my playing career as soon as my body is ready.

"These past months have been very frustrating for me personally as I have had to take this time off to fully mend from a chronic knee injury."


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