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Serena Williams withdraws from Australian Open

05 January, 2018, 13:58 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • SETBACK Japan's Kei Nishikori announced on Thursday that he will not participate in this year's Australian Open. AFP

Meanwhile, Djokovic sent his "support and strength" to Andy Murray in a heartfelt message after the three-time Grand Slam champion issued a worrying update on his fitness.

When Williams won last year's Australian Open she was already two months pregnant.

Williams gave birth to her first child with husband Alexis Ohanian in September, her sister Venus told ESPN's Pam Shriver.

The 23-time Grand Slam victor played her first match since giving birth at the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on December 30, losing her exhibition match to reigning French Open Champion Jelena Ostapenko. She remained hopeful of making a return to Australia and defend her title but admitted that it's a tough task and therefore, chose to walk out.

"I can compete - but I don't want to just compete".

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Serena also said that she was disappointed to withdraw but looked forward to returning in the future.

"After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be", the 36-year-old said.

Six-time Australian Open victor Djokovic still remains highly doubtful for the Australian Open but will be travelling to Australia to compete in the Tie Break Tens at the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park on January 10.

Williams said she isn't ready for top level tennis just yet. The 12-time Grand Slam victor will also play the Tie Break Tens at Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park on January 10 in the evening, joining Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios and Lleyton Hewitt in the field.

Novak Djokovic is slated to play two exhibition events before taking a final call on his participating at the Australian Open which begins from January 15.

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