Serena Williams withdraws from Rogers Cup

Aug 4 (Reuters) - Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup in Montreal for "personal reasons," Tennis Canada said on Saturday, delaying the 23-time grand slam winner's start to the North American hardcourt season.

Tennis Canada said Williams's decision to pull out was made for personal reasons but did not elaborate.

"Of course, we are disappointed that Serena will not be joining us. Fans were very much looking forward to seeing her in action,” tournament director Eugene Lapierre said in a statement. “But beyond the disappointment, the tournament, as a whole, remains a high-level competition.

"The entire top 10 is here, along with 22 of the top 25. There are exciting matches in store from the outset.”

RELATED: Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2018

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Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2018
10th July 2018, All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, England; The Wimbledon Tennis Championships, Day 8; Serena Williams (USA) a she pulsl backs to win her game against Camila Giorgi (ITA) (photo by John Patrick Fletcher/Action Plus via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - US player Serena Williams returns against Italy's Camila Giorgi during their women's singles quarter-final match on the eighth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Serena Williams (USA) during her victory against Camila Giorgi (ITA) in their Ladies' Quarter Final match at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Serena Williams of the United States plays a backhand against Camila Giorgi of Italy during their Ladies' Singles Quarter-Finals match on day eight of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
US player Serena Williams leaves the court after wining against Italy's Camila Giorgi during their women's singles quarter-final match on the eighth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2018. - Williams won the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
US player Serena Williams celebrates breaking serve to go 3-1 up in the final set against Italy's Camila Giorgi during their women's singles quarter-final match on the eighth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
US player Serena Williams arrives at the training courts on the eighth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 10, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
US player Serena Williams serves to Russia's Evgeniya Rodina in their women's singles fourth round match on the seventh day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 9, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Serena Williams (USA) during her victory against Evgeniya Rodina (RUS) in their Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 9, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Serena Williams of USA during her third round match against Kristina Mladenovic of France on day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Corbis via Getty Images)
US player Serena Williams celebrates after beating France's Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 7-6 in their women's singles third round match on the fifth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 6, 2018. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams celebrates her win against Kristina Mladenovic on day five of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENG - JULY 04: SERENA WILLIAMS (USA) during day three match of the 2018 Wimbledon on July 4, 2018, at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London,England. (Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Serena Williams serves on day five of the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 04: Serena Williams of The United States reacts during her Ladies' Singles second round match against Viktoriya Tomova of Bulgaria on day three of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
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The tournament opens on Monday with world number one Simona Halep as the top seed and Caroline Wozniacki, who pulled out of the Citi Open earlier this week with a leg injury, number two.

Williams, who has not played since losing the Wimbledon final to Germany's Angelique Kerber last month, will have her place in the draw taken by Germany's Tatjana Maria.

The 36-year-old American has been making a slow but steady return to competitive tennis since returning in March following the birth of her first child Alexis Olympia. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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