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Serena Williams’ return to the tennis spotlight will be put on hold after the 23-time major winner withdrew from the 2018 Australian Open.
Per Yahoo Sports, Williams noted she is “super close” to being ready but “not where I personally want to be” physically to handle the grind of a two-week tournament:
Yahoo Sports @YahooSports
Serena Williams just withdrew from the Australian Open. 🎾 https://t.co/RgqFEMVCjn
Williams gave birth to her first child with husband Alexis Ohanian in September, her sister Venus told ESPN’s Pam Shriver.
“I’m super excited,” Venus said. “Words can’t describe.”
Williams began last year’s Australian Open one week after learning she was pregnant. The 36-year-old went on to win the tournament, defeating her sister in the final, before taking the remainder of the year off.
After 11 months off, Williams was defeated 10-5 in a supertiebreaker after she split the first two sets with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
The 2018 Australian Open will begin on Jan. 15.