NEW YORK -- Serena Williams says she's alarmed by the U.S. Tennis Association's decision to hold a top junior player out of competition over concerns about her fitness.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor Townsend is the world's top-ranked girl. The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that the USTA withheld funding her tournament appearances while she focused on getting in better shape.

"If that happened, that's obviously a tragedy, because everyone deserves to play," Williams said Monday, a day after winning the U.S. Open.

"She's so sweet and she works so hard," she added. "For a female, particularly, in the United States, in particular, and African-American, to have to deal with that is unnecessary. ... Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything. I think you can see that more than anywhere on the tennis tour."

Townsend played at the Open, winning the junior doubles title and reaching the quarterfinals in singles.

"She's still No. 1," Williams said. "That's saying something."

Related on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Two points from defeat, Williams suddenly regained her composure to come back and win the last four games, beating No. 1-ranked Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 on Sunday for her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam title overall. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams holds the championship trophy after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. Two points from defeat, Williams suddenly regained her composure to come back and win the last four games, beating No. 1-ranked Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 on Sunday for her fourth U.S. Open title and 15th Grand Slam title overall. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts after beating Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, in the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Tennis fans watch Serena Williams play Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams walks on the court while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams bounces a ball during the championship match against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams prepares to serve to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing against Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams gets up after returning a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing against Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Will Ferrell

    Comedian Will Ferrell reacts as Serena Williams plays Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams reacts while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams holds her racket while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Serena Williams

    Serena Williams holds her racket while playing Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Victoria Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, reacts while playing Serena Williams during the championship match at the 2012 US Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)