Serena Williams will not contest the 2022 Australian Open, as her medical team has advised her to take more time to get physically fit.
“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” said Williams in a statement posted on the Australian Open website.
“Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the Australian Open every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”
The 40-year-old Williams is a seven-time champion at the season-opening major. Currently, her ranking has fallen to No.41, as she hasn’t competed since slipping on the grass, getting injured and retiring from the first round of Wimbledon.
Williams’ withdrawal from Melbourne follows Bianca Andreescu’s announcement that she would skip the Australian Swing to give herself more time to properly prepare for the 2022 season.