Tennis star Venus Williams has pulled out of London's upcoming Wimbledon Championships due to a lower back injury.
The 33 year old, who suffers from chronic autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, will miss the prestigious British tournament for the first time since making her debut there in 1997.
In a post on her Facebook.com page, Williams writes, "I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal. Many thanks to my fans for the love and support and I will be seeing you very soon back on the courts."
Williams, who has won the Wimbledon women's singles title five times, hopes to recover in time to play in the Mylan World TeamTennis league on 8 July (13) in Washington, D.C.
Wimbledon kicks off on Monday (24Jun13).