ROME Venus Williams has joined her sister Serena in withdrawing from the French Open because of injury, the WTA said on Saturday.
The world number 19 has not played since retiring from the Australian Open in January with an abdominal injury and she has failed to recover sufficiently, the WTA added.
With Serena also absent, this year's French Open from May 22 to June 5 will be the first grand slam event without a Williams sister since the 2003 U.S. Open.
Serena is recovering from a pulmonary embolism and foot injury.
A number of high profile names have recently pulled out of the claycourt grand slam as former world number one Dinara Safina is taking an indefinite break while Kim Clijsters is also a doubt after injuring herself at her cousin's wedding.
Venus, 30, pulled out of the Brussels Open warm-up event earlier this week.
She has played at the French Open every year since 1998, reaching one final in 2002, when she lost to Serena.
(Reporting by Richard Allen; Editing by Kevin Fylan and Alan Baldwin)