Serena Williams announces she won't compete in Australian Open
The defending champ said she's 'super close' to returning to tournament tennis after giving birth
Serena Williams has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open, meaning the event's reigning champ won't have a chance to defend her title.
The 36-year-old Williams gave birth to her first child about five months ago, and the tennis great says she's "super close" to returning to tournament play but this isn't the right time.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner, explained her decision in a statement posted on Snapchat.
"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. With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.
"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. I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open."
The news is likely disappointing for tennis fans eagerly anticipating Williams' return, but it's hard to blame the ultra-competitive Williams for being hesitant to make a return before she's completely comfortable doing so.
Williams is the second big name to pull out of the event this week; Andy Murray announced Thursday that.
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