Venus Williams withdraws from Qatar Open

Venus Williams hits a return shot during her second round match with Alize Cornet at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 16, 2013
© AP Photos
Venus Williams withdraws from the Qatar Open due to the same lower back injury that blighted her Australian Open campaign.

Venus Williams has pulled out of the Qatar Open due to a persistent lower back injury.

The world number 23's Australian Open campaign was blighted by the complaint, which also forced her to withdraw from last week's Paris Open.

Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic will take Williams's place in the competition, in which her sister Serena is due to compete.

Williams has also pulled out of the United States' Fed Cup match against Italy scheduled for February 9 and 10.

Venus Williams
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