Why is Serena Williams NOT playing the Australian Open 2018?

Williams had started the tournament as the No 2 seed but No 1 Angelique Kerber was knocked out by CoCo Vandeweghe in the fourth round.

The defeat meant that Williams instead met her sister Venus, who dispatched Vandeweghe in the last four, in a final.

Serena triumphed in straight sets to become the oldest ever woman in the open era to win a Grand Slam title.

But she will not be defending her crown this time around, despite demonstrating her fitness in an exhibition defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi last month.

Why is Serena Williams NOT playing the Australian Open 2018?

SERENA WILLIAMS revealed shortly after her 2017 Australian Open triumph that she had won the tournament while nine weeks pregnant and was expecting her first child.

 JAMES GRAY

Serena WilliamsGETTY

Serena Williams will not be playing at the Australian Open 2018

Williams had started the tournament as the No 2 seed but No 1 Angelique Kerber was knocked out by CoCo Vandeweghe in the fourth round.

The defeat meant that Williams instead met her sister Venus, who dispatched Vandeweghe in the last four, in a final.

Serena triumphed in straight sets to become the oldest ever woman in the open era to win a Grand Slam title.

But she will not be defending her crown this time around, despite demonstrating her fitness in an exhibition defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi last month.

“My coach and team always said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way’,” Williams said last week.

“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 [daughter] Olympia and I look forward to coming back again.”

But the 36-year-old subsequently withdrew from the Australian Open 10 days before the January 15 start, citing an inability to “go all the way” in the tournament.

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