Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Serena Williams withdraws from the 2018 Australian Open

Super close Serena out of Australian Open Serena Williams withdraws from the 2018 Australian Open
Eugene Bates | 05 January, 2018, 15:21

Per ESPN, Williams has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open, the tournament which she won previous year while two months pregnant.

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. She remained hopeful of making a return to Australia and defend her title but admitted that it's a tough task and therefore, made a decision to walk out.

"We are fully aware that some players are going through a hard period with injuries and that they have done everything possible to prepare for the Australian summer", Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said while talking to The Dependent. "It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete".

Williams had told Vogue magazine last August about her "outrageous plan" to defend her title but the short turnaround after giving birth has proven too much for even the greatest player of her generation.

"Tournament director Craig Tiley said Serena Williams waited as long as she could before letting organizers know she wouldn't be able to compete".

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.

"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", she said.

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

The 30-year old Serbian is to return at the January 10-12 Kooyong Classic and is also scheduled to take part at the Tie Break Tens evening exhibition at Melbourne Park next Wednesday.

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