Reigning champions Serena Williams pulls out of Australian Open 2018
Serena Williams gave birth to a daughter four months ago and was planning to return to defend her crown in Melbourne. The 36-year-old player has won 23 major singles titles, including the last year’s tournament at Melbourne Park.
Serena played in an exhibition tournament last week in Abu Dhabi, where she lost at the hands of French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko. Her words after the defeat were:
“After competing in Abu Dhabi, I realised that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,”
“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.
“The memory of last year’s Open is one that I will carry with me, and Olympia and I look forward to coming back again.
“I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open.”
Serena managed a comfortable win over older sister Venus in last year’s final to win her 7th Australian Open title. She needs one more Grand Slam title to tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court. Her withdrawal from the Australian Open is strong related with concerns about her fitness four months after giving birth to her first child.
Serena Williams’s withdrawal comes less than 24 hours after fellow former world No. 1 Andy Murray withdrew from the men’s tournament due to a chronic hip injury. In addition, several top names, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka also remain under fitness clouds just ten days before the tournament kick-off. You can check out our Australian Open 2018 betting tips, free bets and betting guide here.