Serena Williams has officially withdrawn from the Australian Open today, according to the tournament website.
“As I continue to rehabilitate my foot after the second surgery last month, it is with the utmost regret that I am withdrawing from the Hopman Cup and the 2011 Australian Open Championships,” Serena Williams said in a statement to the organizers.
“As I recently learned, pushing myself back into my intense training too early only caused me further injury and damage.
“While I desperately want to be back on the court and competing in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, it is imperative for my health that I continue to work with my doctors to ensure my foot heals properly.
“This decision, though heavy on my heart, is the right one. I am praying for a healthy recovery and I promise my Aussie fans and my fans around the world that I will be back better than ever as soon as I can be.”
The 29-year-old Williams suffered the mysterious cut to her foot in the days in between her 13th career Slam at Wimbledon and her appearance in Belgium for the lucrative Kim Clijsters exhibition.
She returned to the U.S. where she underwent foot surgery which prevented her return for summer tournaments and later the US Open.
Still, speculation existed that Serena was faking the injury and/or still recovering from a series of plastic surgery work.
Serena resumed training in early October and an appearance at the Linz WTA event looked promising, but another setback just before her arrival ended her season.
Williams has won five Australian Open titles including the last two and three of the last four. Currently ranked No. 4, by missing her Melbourne title defense, Serena will slide out of the Top 10 in the rankings.
Fans won’t be left Serena-less. The tennis star tweeted yesterday that she will appear on the Home Shopping Network on December 6 at 11am.
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