Seven-time champion Serena Williams withdrew from the Australian Open on Thursday. The former No. 1 hasn’t played an official match since winning her 23rd Grand Slam there last year beating sister Venus in the final.
The 36-year-old former No. 1 returned a few weeks ago for an exo match in Abu Dhabi against Jelena Ostapenko. But her form isn’t ready for Grand Slam action, she said.
“After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said.
“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.
“With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.
“The memory of last year’s Open is one that I will carry with me, and Olympia and I look forward to coming back again.
“I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open.”
Now 36 with a growing family, will she ever be back on court at the Australian Open?
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