MELBOURNE: Serena Williams reluctantly pulled out of this yr’s Australian Open on Friday, the American saying that whereas she is near regaining full health after giving delivery to her first youngster in September, she is just not able to defend her title.
The 36-yr-previous was eight weeks pregnant final yr when the American triumphed for the seventh time at Melbourne Park to say an Open-period document twenty third grand slam title after which took the remainder of the yr off earlier than giving delivery to a daughter.
She has performed simply as soon as in public since, dropping to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi final week, however was nonetheless hopeful of creating a exceptional return on the Australian Open till she admitted defeat every week forward of the occasion.
“My coach and staff all the time stated ‘solely go to tournaments if you find yourself ready to go all the best way’. I can compete — however I don’t need to simply compete, I need to do much better than that and to take action, I’ll want somewhat extra time,” Williams stated in a press release.
Williams is the newest huge-identify participant to withdraw from the yr’s opening grand slam, which can be performed from Jan. 15-28, with Britain’s Andy Murray (hip) and Japan’s Kei Nishikori (wrist) having already stated they might not compete.
There’s additionally uncertainty over whether or not former champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the latter of which arrived in Melbourne earlier on Friday, shall be match to take to the courtroom.
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