Tennis-Injured Serena pulls out of Wuhan, China Opens

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Wuhan and China Opens due to a persistent shoulder injury and is targeting a return to action in next month's WTA Finals in Singapore, the world number two said on Friday.

The 34-year-old American, 22-times grand slam singles champion, has played only eight tournaments this year and lost her spot at the top of the world rankings to German Angelique Kerber.

"I am disappointed that I will not be able to compete at the Wuhan Open or the China Open due to continuing issues with my right shoulder," the 34-year-old said in a statement.

"I have been practising and playing but my shoulder is still not fit for tournament play. I am focused on getting ready to compete at the WTA Finals in Singapore."

Williams has won two titles this year, in Rome and at Wimbledon, and finished runner-up in three tournaments. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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