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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, December 8, 2021

 
Serena

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2022 Australian Open on the advice of her medical team joining Bianca Andreescu in missing Melbourne.

Photo credit: Tennis Australia

Serena Williams won't play for history in Melbourne.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has withdrawn from the 2022 Australian Open on advice of her medical team.

More: Andreescu Will Miss Australian Open

Williams' withdrawal means she won't match Margaret Court's all-time Grand Slam record of 24 major titles in Melbourne.

The seven-time Australian Open champion has not played a match since retiring from her Wimbledon opener after suffering a torn hamstring against Aliaksandra Sasnovich last July. Williams registered a 12-5 record in 2021, reaching the Roland Garros fourth round and Australian Open semifinals.

While Williams did not disclose a date for her return, she said she's "excited to return and compete at my highest level."

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” Williams said in a statement. “Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year.

"I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”




Last February, Williams reached the Australian Open final four and set her sights on continuing her match toward matching Court’s major mark. Naomi Osaka converted all four break points powering past Williams 6-3, 6-4, into her fourth Grand Slam final at the Australian Open.




The 41st-ranked Williams also missed the 2021 US Open due to the torn hamstring she suffered at Wimbledon.

Serena Williams' quest to match Margaret Court's all-time major record hy winning her 24th Grand Slam title ended abruptly and painfullly at Wimbledon. Williams suffered the hamstring injury after slipping on Centre Court in her opening match against 100th-ranked Sasnovich and ultimately retired in tears after six games.

It was the first time in 20 SW19 appearances Serena failed to survive the opening round and just the second time she retired from a Grand Slam match.

The 40-year-old Serena is the second Grand Slam champion to withdraw from Melbourne in as many days, joining 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in pulling out of the season's first Grand Slam.

The 46th-ranked Andreescu announced she needed a break to rest and recover following a physically and emotionally depleting 2021 season.

“As you all know, the past two years have been very challenging for me,” Andreescu wrote in a Twitter post. “Especially this year in particular, I spent multiple weeks in isolation, quarantining, which affected me greatly – both mentally and physically.

"In addition my grandmother spent several weeks in the ICU due to a Covid infection, something that really hit me hard. A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders”

 

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