23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena William has pulled out of this month’s Australian Open.
The defending champion had been expected to return to Melbourne, having entered the competition and secured a visa, but announced her decision on Friday.
“My coach and team always said, ‘Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.‘ With that being said I am disappointed to say I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.”
Williams returned to the court last week in Abu Dhabi after almost a year, playing an exhibition match against French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko, a match Williams lost in three sets.
The American is now the third of high-profile names to pull out of the opening Slam of the year, with Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray having announced their withdrawals on Thursday.
World no. 1 Rafael Nadal and super Serb, Novak Djokovic are still major doubts for the Australian Open as they’re still both struggling with full fitness.
The Australian Open is set to commence on Jan 15 through to Jan 28.