Serena Williams reluctantly pulled out of this year's Australian Open on Friday, the American saying that while she is close to regaining full fitness after giving birth to her first child in September, she is not ready to defend her title.
The younger Williams sister goes on to say in a statement to media, "My coach and team always said "only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way". The 36-year-old, who won last year's Grand Slam title at the Melbourne Park, made a comeback to the tennis last week just four-and-a-half months after giving birth to her baby girl Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Organisers of the first Grand Slam tournament of the year have announced that those players that are injured and want to withdraw from the Australian Open can compete by playing as their virtual versions on PlayStarion or Xbox games.
The match Williams is referring to took place at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi.
Since then, she has just played once in Abu Dhhabi last week, where she lost to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.
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Meanwhile, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley expressed his admiration on Serena's efforts to return to the game she likes.
"Serena transcends the sport in the way she approaches all aspects of her life".
"I've been in constant contact with Serena and her team and know this is why she has pushed it and pushed it until the eleventh hour to make her final decision".
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.