American female Tennis deity, Serena Williams will miss next month’s Italian Open in Rome, it has been confirmed.

The world number two withdrew from recent events in Indian Wells and Miami due to a knee injury.

However, her absence from Rome, where she is the reigning champion, is believed to be her own choice.

In the same week as the French Open warm-up tournament takes place – May 15-21 – Williams is due to speak about her experience as a fashion designer at a retail convention in Las Vegas.

The current state of Williams’ injury is not known, although this week she posted a video of herself on social media which shows herself riding a zipwire while on holiday.

She also posted a photo of a wedding dress, fuelling suggestions that she is about to wed fiancé Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit. The pair announced their engagement in December.

As things stand, Williams, who won the 23rd Grand Slam title of her career at the Australian Open in January, is due to return to action at the Madrid Open which starts on May 6. The French Open takes place from May 28 to June 11.

All the other members of the world’s top 10, including the top-ranked Angelique Kerber and Briton Johanna Konta, are on the Rome entry list.