Two-time champions Venus and Serena Williams have withdrawn from the French Open doubles tournament, giving the team of Anastasia Rodionova and Alla Kudryavtseva a walkover into the second round. No official reason was given, but the withdrawal is not surprising considering that Venus has been dealing with a back injury that she sustained in March.
Venus lost to Urszula Radwanska 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-4 in the first round of singles Sunday. Top-seeded Serena is into the third round after beating France’s Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday to extend her career-best winning streak to 26 matches. Serena will face Sorana Cirstea in the third round.
In other doubles news, Laura Robson, who was set to play with Lisa Raymond, has withdrawn because of a back injury. Raymond had played 71 consecutive Slams dating to 1995.