Serena Williams announced Thursday she won’t defend her Australian Open title. She reluctantly withdrew from the Australian Open. “After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said.
“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. With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.
“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.”
"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."
Good luck for the rest of 2018, Serena! We'll miss you 😊
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 5, 2018
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley expressed his admiration for Serena’s efforts to return to the game she loves. “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.