The tournament announced Williams’ withdrawal yesterday and would 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.’
The 23-time Grand Slam champion is coming off the most lopsided defeat of her career, a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Johanna Konta in San Jose, California, on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old Williams was the runner-up at Wimbledon last month. That was just her fourth tournament since returning to the tour after having a baby in September and dealing with a health scare related to blood clots.
The year’s last major tournament, the U.S. Open, starts on Aug. 27.
Williams will be replaced in the draw at Montreal by Tatjana Maria, who faces Alize Cornet in the first round.