Serena Williams withdraws from Beijing to bring down the curtain on 2018


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Serena Williams withdraws from Beijing to bring down the curtain on 2018

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams has decided to skip Premier Mandatory event in Beijing and finish her season after just 24 matches in 2018. Serena won the inaugural China Open in 2004 and another crown there in 2013, competing in Beijing five times and never since 2014 when she lost in the quarter-final against Sam Stosur.

Serena had played only two events in 2017, winning the Australian Open and announcing her pregnancy that kept her off the court until Indian Wells 2018. It wasn't easy for the veteran to make a comeback after such a long break but she was determined to get back to her usual level, reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros before having to withdraw before the clash with Maria Sharapova.

Serena had a chance to win the eighth Wimbledon crown after a favorable draw and a commanding win over Julia Goerges in the semi-final but Angelique Kerber proved to be too strong in the title match, preventing the American from winning that elusive 24th Major crown.

San Jose and Cincinnati brought her early exits but Serena was back where she belongs at the US Open, demolishing her sister Venus, Karolina Pliskova and Anastasija Sevastova to set the final clash with the 20-year-old Japanese Naomi Osaka.

After the most controversial match of the year, Osaka won 6-2 6-4 to claim her first Grand Slam crown and the match will be remembered for the huge debate between Serena and the chair umpire Carlos Ramos who gave her a coaching violation in the latter stages of the match.

That turned out to be the last match for her in 2018 and Serena Williams will have to continue her quest for that 24th Grand Slam title in 2019. ALSO READ: Novak Djokovic: 'I will decide about Beijing in the next few days'