Wuhan (China) (AFP) - Serena Williams finally signalled her anguish at letting slip a calendar-year Grand Slam on Thursday as she brought her season to an early close, passing up a hefty financial windfall.
Williams pulled out of both the China Open and the year-ending WTA Finals, saying she needed "time to heal" -- despite missing hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses and prize money.
"I am taking a proactive step and withdrawing from tournaments in Beijing and Singapore to properly address my health and take the time to heal," she said in a statement.
Williams was two matches from equalling Steffi Graf's record 22 Slam trophies, and 1988 sweep of all four major titles, when she suffered a stunning loss to Roberta Vinci in the US Open semis.
Nearly 40% of parents of girls report their daughters being inspired to take up a sport after watching professionals in action.
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