Venus Williams withdraws from French Open

Venus Williams
Venus pulled out of the Australian Open in January through injury

Venus Williams's agent has confirmed that the seven-time Grand Slam champion will not compete in the French Open, which begins on 22 May.

The 30-year-old last played in January when she withdrew from the Australian Open third round because of an abdominal injury.

A knee injury also ensured Williams played only one tournament over the final six months of 2010.

Vesna Dolonts of Russia will replace the American in the draw.

Venus's sister, Serena, pulled out of the French Open on Thursday, having been sidelined by two foot operations and blood clots in her lung.

Despite her injury Venus finished 2010 ranked fifth in the world, the first time she had ended the year in the top five since 2002, and won titles in Dubai and Acapulco to take her career tournament victories to 43.

The 6ft 1in right hander, who has now slipped to 19th in the rankings, reached the semi-finals at the US Open and the last eight at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

The last of her seven Grand Slam titles came in 2008 when she won Wimbledon for the fifth time.

It will be the first time since the 2003 US Open, when both players were also injured, that both sisters have missed a Grand Slam tournament.