Oh no! Just 12 days before the start of the Australian Open tournament, Serena Williams revealed she has withdrawn, via a statement shared on Snapchat on Jan. 4.
“After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized that although I am super close I’m not where I personally want to be,” Serena Williams, 36, wrote in a statement on Snapchat Jan. 4. “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. However, 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,” she concluded her statement.
This startling news comes just 12 days before the start of the tournament. Last year, she competed while pregnant, but this year, neither she nor her baby — 4-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia — will be there. Serena was expected to defend her title. Most recently, she faced off against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 20, on Dec. 30. Unfortunately for her, however, she was defeated in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi after struggling with her serve in the first match, according to the Associated Press. She later won the second match, but lost in a tiebreaker.
See Serena’s statement below.
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