Injured Williams withdraws from Rome tournament19/05/2012 - 16:13:24
Maria Sharapova and Li Na will meet in the final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome after Serena Williams withdrew from her semi-final today.
Williams was due to meet reigning French Open champion Li in today's first semi-final but pulled out due to a back problem.
She insists the injury will not prevent her competing at Roland Garros, though, and that her withdrawal was to save herself for the year's second grand slam.
"I'm fine, I'll be 100% for the French," said the American, in comments reported by BBC Sport. "I've been feeling a little pain this week and I have a huge schedule coming up.
"I've been playing a lot and my body is getting used to a lot of matches again.
"My form is good heading to Paris. I want to be ready for the next couple of months."
The second semi-final went ahead as planned, and Sharapova eased to a 90-minute straight-sets win over Kerber.
The German's performance this week will see her move into the top 10 when the updated world rankings are released on Monday, but she was well beaten by world number two Sharapova today.
The Russian broke twice in each set and won 63% of points on her own serve to close out a 6-3 6-4 win.
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