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By Chris Oddo | Thursday January 4, 2018

Serena Williams

Serena Williams has elected to pull out of the 2018 Australian Open, citing a lack of preparation and form.

Photo Source: AP

Serena Williams confirmed the rumors and announced her withdrawal from the 2018 Australian Open. The 23-time major and defending champion does not feel she is in good enough physical form to make a run at a major title, so she has elected to continue her comeback at a measured pace.

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“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,” Williams said in a statement released by the tournament on Friday. “With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.”

A six-time champion in Melbourne, Williams hopes to tie and break Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors this season—but she’ll have to get fit enough to play her game first. The American has not played since winning last year’s Australian Open, though she did acquit herself nicely in a three-set exhibition loss to Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi last week.

Williams gave birth to her first child, daughter Alexis Olympia on September 1st. She will drop off the WTA’s official rankings after the Australian Open but will be granted automatic access to eight tournaments, including two Grand Slams, in the 12 months of her comeback.


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