Defending Champion Serena Williams pulls out of 2018 Australian Open

Defending Champion Serena Williams pulls out of 2018 Australian Open

Serena Williams  competed and won the Australian Open last year, but this year neither she nor 4-month-old daughter Alexis Olympia will be there.

Twelve days before the start the tournament, the tennis star, 36, announced she has withdrawn with a statement shared on Snapchat Thursday.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams pulls out of Australia Open | Image: Serena Williams *Snapchat

Williams was expected to defend her title this month.

“After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized that although I am super close I’m not where I personally want to be,” she wrote.

“My coach and team always said ‘Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’

With that being said I am disappointed to say I’ve decided not to compete in The Australian Open this year,” she said.

On Dec. 30 2017, the athlete faced off against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 20, and was defeated in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Williams struggled with her serve in the first match, Ostapenko trumping her 6-2. She rebounded in the second, winning 3-2, but ended up losing in a super tiebreaker, 10-5, according to the Associated Press.

“However, 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,” she concluded her statement.

Though she lost against Ostapenko, Williams remained in good spirits.

“It’s good to be back on the court,” Williams said after the match, ESPN reported. “This was such a good time for me.

First matches back are always super-incredibly hard, especially after having a baby. It was great. I was glad I could do it here.”

It’s been a whirlwind of a year for the tennis superstar, who gave birth in September and tied the knot with Ohanian just two months later.

Their weddings guests included stars like Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Kim Kardashian West.

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