Venus Williams will not be orbiting Kastles Stadium this season, not as a player anyway.
Still dealing with an injured back that kept her out of Wimbledon singles draw, Williams confirmed to Washington Kastles team officials that she is still physically unable to play. The seven-time grand slam winner was scheduled to play in the Kastles first three matches this season, starting with July 8 and 9 home openers. The Kastles, winners of the last two WTT titles, have a 32-match winning streak.
Martina Hingis will replace Williams on the roster. The reigning WTT female MVP was already scheduled to play for the Kastles from July 15-24.
Comcast SportsNet will televise three Kastles matches this season, starting with the July 8 opener which begins at 7 p.m.
Williams, who last competed during a first round loss at the French Open on May 26, will also miss the Kastles' July 10 road matchup against the Texas Wild. She will be present at Kastles Stadium at The Wharf on Monday for a pre-match championship ring ceremony before Washington hosts the New York Sportimes.
"I have been working hard to get back into action on the court but my lower back injury has not recovered to where it needs to be for me to play Mylan World TeamTennis this summer," Williams said in a statement released by the team on Friday. "I love playing team tennis so I am really disappointed that I will not be able to compete with my Washington Kastles teammates this month, or to play in front of the fans in Washington, D.C., and Irving, Texas. I will be watching the Kastles and pulling for them to keep the win streak going and bring home another Mylan WTT championship."
Hingis played for New York in 2011 and 2012, posting a 20-4 two-year record in women's singles. The five-time singles major champion will be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame later this month.