Serena Williams opts not to defend Australian Open title

Hope Soto
January 7, 2018

Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, says that left Williams with insufficient time to prepare for the Australian Open, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion expected to compete at Indian Wells and Miami, in March.

In her announcement, Williams said that she will soon return to the Australian Open, but will first focus on her daughter.

"After competing in Abu Dhabi I realised that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be", the 36-year-old said in a statement.

"It is better to take a bit more time, and when you come back to the competition, you are ready to be yourself - win or lose is another thing - but at least be yourself and be at the top of what you can do". "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".

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

But on Friday morning the former world number one said she was withdrawing from the tournament, which starts on January 15.

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"After the two events, a decision will be made about his participation at the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, where Novak has been crowned champion six times".

Serena Williams will not participate at this year's Australian Open.

However, the organisers are quick to clarify that this only applies to players whose absence makes a dent of at least a million Australian dollars to the tournament.

Several other big names, including top-ranked Rafael Nadal, six-time champion Novak Djokovic and 2014 victor Stan Wawrinka, also remain under fitness clouds 10 days out from the year's first grand slam event at Melbourne Park. "There are a couple of exhibition events down there that she may choose to play in".

Garbine Muguruza: the reigning Wimbledon women's champion retired from the Brisbane International with severe cramps but has since been cleared to play in Sydney next week.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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