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06 January 2018, 12:45 | Kristopher Drake
CREDIT Getty Images
Williams was pregnant with her first child when she won last year's tournament at Melbourne Park, the 23rd Grand Slam singles title of her career. The tennis star, who was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title a year ago, confirmed that she would not be returning to the court as she "needs more time". 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.
"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. "With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year". On January 4, the tennis champ shared her decision to withdraw from the 2018 Australian Open, and offered a heartfelt explanation as to why.
The 36-year-old was hoping to return to the court after the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in September.
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"The true champion Serena is has been demonstrated in the Herculean efforts she has made over the past few months in her desire to play the Australian Open", Tiley said.
The American refused to commit to playing at the first Grand Slam of the year at the Mubadala Tennis Exhibition in Dubai last week, though tournament director Craig Tiley reportedly remains confident she will be in action. There is no word yet on when she will be, but Miami in March may be a good bet. She wants to give herself the best chance to win.
There are also doubts over the fitness of Spanish world number one Rafael Nadal and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, who won the title in 2014.
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