Defending champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, saying she is not ready to return to tournament tennis.
Williams, 36, was pregnant with her first child when she won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title of her career last year at Melbourne Park.
“Although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said in a statement Friday from tournament organizers.
On the men’s side, five-time finalist Andy Murray of Scotland needed only a couple of days in Australia to realize the hip problem that has kept him out of competitive tennis since Wimbledon was not going to improve in time for the season’s first major. He announced his withdrawal on Thursday.
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