Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Australian Open

Kristopher Nichols
January 7, 2018

It is pertinent to mention here that World No 1 and former champion Rafael Nadal and six-time Australian Open victor Novak Djokovic withdrew from tournaments leading up to the first major of the year, also bringing their availability for the event in doubt. Williams indicated after her loss to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko that she might not make it to Melbourne.

Williams, whose Grand Slam tally is just one shy of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court, said she was disappointed to withdraw, but looked forward to returning in the future.

"After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized 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". I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time".

The American tennis star had had a baby girl about four months ago and hasn't played competitive tennis since winning the Australia Open 2017 during which she was pregnant.

Open tournament director Craig Tiley expressed his admiration for Williams's efforts to return to the game she loves.

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It is the first time since 2011 that Williams has missed the tournament.

Victoria Azarenka: the two-time champion and former world No.1 remains locked in a custody battle that is preventing her son leaving California.

Wishing her all the best for the rest of 2018.

"She's taken a decision that she wants to focus fully on her defence of the Australian Open and we've got to respect that", Sydney Morning Herald quoted Robertson, as saying.

Other star players, including top-ranked Rafael Nadal, six-time champion Novak Djokovic and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka, also are dealing with injuries.

Five different players also shared the top ranking in 2017 after Williams was dethroned during her hiatus. No. 1-ranked Simona Halep and No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki are bidding to win their first Grand Slam singles titles.

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