Australian Open 2018: Serena Williams withdraws from tournament

Australian Open 2018: Serena Williams withdraws from tournament

However, following that she stayed away from the game for the rest of the year before giving birth to a baby girl.

"I chose this picture as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and compete", he said.

Britains former world number one Andy Murray had already pulled out of the Brisbane International event with hip injury.

Williams was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title in 2017. The 36-year-old explained: "My coach and team always said "only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way".

"It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete, she wants to give herself the best chance to win", Tiley said.

"Sadly I won't be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete", three-times grand slam champion Murray said.

Despite the fact that Williams has turned down a wildcard for one of the last warm-up tournaments before the tournament begins, Tiley apparently remains fairly sure that the American will be back to defend her title.

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It is the first time since 2011 that Williams has missed the tournament.

He was due to take part in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi and was also scheduled to defend his Qatar Open, but had to withdraw due to elbow pain.

Confirmation of his absence came hours after Kei Nishikori announced that he, also, wouldn't have enough time to fully recover from a torn wrist tendon before the Australian Open starts January 15 in Melbourne.

"I am very sorry to announce that I will miss the Aussie Open this year", he said on his website of the opening major of the year, starting in Melbourne on January 15.

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

Serena Williams will not participate at this year's Australian Open.

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