Venus Williams out of Key Biscayne

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Venus Williams withdrew from the upcoming Sony Ericsson Open on Thursday, citing an abdominal injury that has sidelined her for nearly two months.

Williams is a three-time champion at the tournament, which begins Tuesday. She hasn't played since retiring because of the injury in the third round of the Australian Open on Jan. 21.

Her sister Serena is also missing from the field, having been out of action since winning Wimbledon for the fourth time in July. She underwent surgery twice for a cut on her foot and last month had a pulmonary embolism and was hospitalized to remove a hematoma.

The No. 8-ranked Venus lives 90 minutes north of Key Biscayne in Palm Beach Gardens and considers the tournament her home event. She once won 22 consecutive matches in the event and was the champion in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

"I am very sorry to not be playing in the Sony Ericsson Open this year," she said in a statement. "It is one of my favorite tournaments on the circuit, especially because it is so close to my home in South Florida. I look forward to returning to the tour soon."

She's rehabilitating at home, the tournament said in the statement.

Defending champion Kim Clijsters, top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki and three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova are among those entered in the two-week event. The men's field includes Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and defending champion Andy Roddick.