Seven-time champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open.
The 23-time major winner and women’s titleholder gave birth to her first child last September and says she’s not yet ready for a comeback.
Williams made her decision after losing an exhibition match last week in Avu Dhabi to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
“After competing in Abu Dhabi, I realised that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said on Friday.
“My coach and team always said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way’.
“I can compete – but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.
“The memory of last year’s Open is one that I will carry with me, and (my daughter) Olympia and I look forward to coming back again.”
The American superstar’s scratching comes less than 24 hours after fellow former world No.1 Andy Murray withdrew from the men’s event with a chronic hip injury.
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