- Associated Press - Friday, August 6, 2010

CINCINNATI (AP) - Tournament officials say knee pain has forced Venus Williams to withdraw from next week’s Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati.

Tournament director Bruce Flory said Friday that officials wish Williams could compete in this year’s tournament, but that the field remains the strongest it’s ever been.

Williams said in a statement that she returned to her normal practice schedule the last three weeks and began to feel pain in her left knee. She says she regrets not being able to compete in Cincinnati. Williams says her medical advisers recommended that she not play until she is pain free.

The tournament will begin Saturday with qualifying play. The main draw starts Monday.