MADRID - Serena Williams has criticised the WTA, claiming players are forced to play carrying injuries.
The second seed at the new Madrid Open blamed the controversial policy for her appearance a month ago for what became a first-round loss at a small event in Marbella, four days after losing the Miami final with her thigh heavily strapped.
"Unfortunately it does not matter if you're injured, if you're dead or if you're alive," said the 10-time grand slam winner.
"If you don't play they're going to fine you heavily. I have to play whether I am injured or not.
"That's just how it is - I have no choice."
The highest-profile women's injury victim continues to be Maria Sharapova, with the three-time grand slam winner not having touched a racquet in a singles match since last August.
The Russian is suffering from a shoulder injury that has required arthroscopic surgery and months of rehabilitation.
There has been speculation that the 22-year-old is battling to save her career even though she still has a variety of multimillion dollar sponsorship deals.
Since January, the WTA requires top 10 players to play a minimum 10 of 20 (upper level) premier events plus the four grand slams and required tournaments at Indian Wells and Miami in the US, Madrid and Beijing in the autumn. -Sapa-AFP