New Mom Serena Williams Withdraws from the Australian Open, Offers Heartfelt Explanation

New Mom Serena Williams Withdraws from the Australian Open, Offers Heartfelt Explanation

New Mom Serena Williams Withdraws from the Australian Open, Offers Heartfelt Explanation

The American 23-time Grand Slam victor made a tentative return at an Abu Dhabi exhibition late last month, losing to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. In Abu Dhabi, Williams was clearly sluggish and had problems with her serve.

Tournament director Craig Tiley called Williams's efforts to try and be ready for a title defence at the Australian Open "Herculean" and said she transcended the sport.

The 36-year-old Williams needs only one more major title to equal the all-time record held by Margaret Court, who won 13 of her 24 Grand Slam titles before the Open era began in 1968.

It is the first time since 2011 that Williams has missed the tournament.

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Williams might be "super close" but she doesn't yet think she is in championship-winning shape.

There is also uncertainty over whether former champions Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Rafa Nadal, the latter of which arrived in Melbourne earlier on Friday, will be fit to take to the court.

Williams previous year beat older sister Venus in the final.

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

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Serena also said that she was disappointed to withdraw but looked forward to returning in the future. Commencing from January 15, many big names will be missing from the Australian Open this year due to health issues. "I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open".

"I've been in constant contact with Serena and her team and know this is why she has pushed it and pushed it until the 11th hour to make her final decision", he said. Her confidence was reportedly shaken after losing to Jelena Ostapenko in her comeback match at the French Open.

With Serena Williams out, the women's singles title at Melbourne appears to be wide open.

Few players have successfully bounced back after giving birth, and even fewer have managed to go on to win Grand Slam titles.

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Williams a year ago beat sister Venus in the final, and later revealed she played the tournament despite knowing she was pregnant.

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