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After Losing French Open, Defending Champion Serena Williams Pulls Out Of Australian Open

AASTHA SINGAL | 0
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| January 5 , 2018 , 14:19 IST

Tennis star Serena Williams was extremely confident of defending her Australian Open title this year. However, having recently given birth to her first child, her body is still not up to it which prompted the champion to withdraw her name from the tournament.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner shocked America when she announced her decision on Friday justifying that despite being "super close", it will take her time to reach a certain level for playing in such a tournament. Her confidence was reportedly shaken after losing to Jelena Ostapenko in her comeback match at the French Open.

Notably, She won the title last year in January against her sister Venus Williams while being two-month pregnant. In an official statement, Williams confirmed, "After competing in Abu Dhabi I realised that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be."

The 36-year-old player further mentioned, "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."

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Serena has mentioned in many of her earlier interviews that she will surely defend her title in 2018 Australian Open. Disappointed with the development, Williams confirmed, "Even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year."

Williams was facing major problems in serving last month but clarified that she missed being on the court. Surprisingly, the tournament doesn't have any major names competing this year given that the former world number one Andy Murray and Japan's Kei Nishikori withdrew their names on Thursday due to injury.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley was left impressed by Serena's determination and expressed, "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."

Serena backed out after pushing her decision to the eleventh hour as she just didn't want to compete but win the tournament. Commencing from January 15, many big names will be missing from the Australian Open this year due to health issues.