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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Venus Williams has withdrawn from the ASB Tennis Classic, her first tournament of 2017, due to an arm injury.
Williams beat New Zealand wildcard Jade Lewis in a first-round match and was due to play Japan's Naomi Osaka in the second round later Wednesday but withdrew before the match.
The former No.1 and seven-time grand slam winner struggled early against Lewis and had to save a set point in the first set.
Tournament director Karl Budge told reporters Williams "wasn't able to serve as she would like to and at the level that we have come to expect from Venus and unfortunately that has taken her away from the tournament this year."
The Australian Open, the year's first grand slam tournament, begins on Jan. 16.