Five-time champion Venus Williams to miss Wimbledon through injury
June 18, 2013 -- Updated 2221 GMT (0621 HKT)
Venus Williams lost in the first round at Wimbledon last year but won the doubles title with sister Serena
- Venus Williams withdraws from Wimbledon champions because of injury
- Back problem caused her problems at last month's French Open in Paris
- 2013 championships will be first Venus has missed since Wimbledon debut in 1997
(CNN) -- Five-time champion Venus Williams has pulled out of next week's Wimbledon championships because of injury.
The 33-year-old has not missed a tournament at the grass court finals since making her debut in 1997 but has struggled with a back injury in recent months.
"Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in Wimbledon this year," the American wrote on her Facebook page.
"I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal. I look forward to returning to the courts as soon as possible."
Read: Back problem forces Venus out of Miami Masters
Williams suffered her earliest French Open exit in 12 years last month when she crashed to a first-round defeat to Poland's Urszula Radwanska.
Williams wins 2nd French Open title
Serena: Venus was a great role model
Serena Williams' rise to greatness
She said her back had troubled her during the match and then pulled out of the doubles with her sister Serena, the world number one, because of the problem.
In March, the seven-time grand slam champion was forced out of the Miami Masters because of the same injury to her lower back.
Venus' withdrawal denies the world No. 34 the chance to get ahead of Serena at the championships, with both sisters tied on five singles titles apiece.
Read: Serena wins 2013 French Open
Venus, who lost in the first round for the first time last year, won her titles in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008, while Serena is the defending champion.
Serena aside, the women's field only has two other ladies that have managed to win the title: Maria Sharapova, who succeeded in 2004, and 2011 champion Petra Kvitova.
Despite her recent injury troubles, Venus' opponents may be relieved by the absence of a player who last contested the final in 2009, when she was beaten by her younger sister.
"My goal (is) to return on July 8 in Washington," the elder Williams said. "Many thanks to my fans for the love and support and I will be seeing you very soon back on the courts."
Venus' absence means she will be unable to defend the doubles title she won last year with Serena, their fifth triumph at Wimbledon.
The duo, who have contested four singles finals against one another at Wimbledon, also triumphed on Center Court last year when winning a gold medal in the doubles at the London Olympics.
Part of complete coverage on
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1517 GMT (2317 HKT)
South Africa may just have found another Paralympian to inspire a nation -- and perhaps the world.
November 26, 2013 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
Marion Bartoli's tennis career had its ups and downs -- both personal and professional. Discover what has made the Wimbledon winner happy.
November 22, 2013 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Maria Sharapova has turned to her third coach of 2013 as she seeks to bounce back from shoulder problems.
November 21, 2013 -- Updated 1158 GMT (1958 HKT)
Hitting partner Sascha Bajin and coach Patrick Mouratoglou offer a glimpse into the life of the world No. 1.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Down and out in Paris, Serena Williams turned to a man who has helped her become more dominant than ever before.
November 20, 2013 -- Updated 1003 GMT (1803 HKT)
World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey tells CNN he doesn't think Novak Djokovic "has the faintest idea" what his organization does.
The Davis Cup can step up to a new level of popularity by following the example of football's top tournament, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
November 12, 2013 -- Updated 1546 GMT (2346 HKT)
A year that began with a fourth Australian Open title ended similarly triumphant for Novak Djokovic at the ATP Tour finale.
CNN's Will Edmonds says Serena Williams can match Steffi Graf's record haul of 22 grand slam titles following her U.S. Open triumph.
September 9, 2013 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
Two years after losing part of her lung during a blood clot operation, U.S. Open champion Serena Williams insists playing tennis "is just fun now."
September 4, 2013 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Her doubles playing dad is the sporting star of the family, but Micaela Bryan's Twitter page is making the toddler a viral sensation.
Roger Federer is now in danger of diminishing his incredible tennis legacy, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
Tennis parents don't have the best of reputations. Think Damir Dokic, John Tomic and Jim Pierce. However, Andy Murray's Mum is very different.
August 15, 2013 -- Updated 1421 GMT (2221 HKT)
Marion Bartoli has retired from tennis with immediate effect, just six weeks after winning her first grand slam title at Wimbledon.
November 19, 2013 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
When the women's singles champion at the U.S. Open picks up her $2.6 million check, she should spare a moment to thank Billie Jean King.
Today's five most popular stories