Serena Williams shocks fans with Australian Open announcement
Serena Williams last took to the court at Wimbledon more than six months ago as fans await the return of the legend.
The 23-time Major champion was hoping to make a comeback at the Slam down under having not played since June.
However the 40-year-old has now withdrawn from the event she has won seven times.
“Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open,” Serena began in a statement.
“While this never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete.
“Melbourne is one of my favourite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the Australia Open every year.
“I will miss seeing the fans but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”
All our love, @serenawilliams ?
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 8, 2021
The 2017 Australian Open was the recent of Serena’s 23 singles Slam titles.
There, she defeated sister Venus in the final, while pregnant with her daughter, at the age of 35.
At the 2021 event, Serena was reduced to tears after her semi-final defeat to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.
She has since played just eight matches, winning four and losing four, and appearing at two Slams before skipping the US Open.
The Australian Open announcement has left many fans speculating that Serena may never play the Melbourne event again.
Williams has not addressed such rumours and has said before that if she were to say goodbye, she would not tell anyone beforehand.
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