Australian Open champion Serena Williams withdraws from tournament

Jan 08, 2018, 01:06
Australian Open champion Serena Williams withdraws from tournament

However, she made a decision to bow out of the tournament just four months after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia.

The American 23-time Grand Slam victor made a tentative return at an Abu Dhabi exhibition late last month, losing to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

In an official statement, Williams confirmed, "After competing in Abu Dhabi I realised that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be".

"My coach and team always said, "Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way".

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Per ESPN, Williams has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open, the tournament which she won a year ago while two months pregnant.

"We all wish her the very best and I look forward to seeing her back on court this year, and can't wait to welcome her back to the Australian Open in 2019".

The 23-time Grand Slam victor was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title in 2017.

Serena backed out after pushing her decision to the eleventh hour as she just didn't want to compete but win the tournament.

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Tournament director Craig Tiley called Williams' efforts to try and be ready for a title defence at the Australian Open "Herculean" and said she transcended the sport.

Williams might be "super close" but she doesn't yet think she is in championship-winning shape.

World number one Rafael Nadal and six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic also have injury issues, having yet to play a competitive match this year. In terms of total years, it was the oldest Grand Slam women's final in the Open era -Williams sisters combining for 71 years, 11 months.

The 2018 Australian Open will begin on January 15. "I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open". Organizers later announced that French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky had also withdrawn after failing to recover in time following surgery on her right hand in September.

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Williams past year beat sister Venus in the final, and later revealed she played the tournament despite knowing she was pregnant.

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