SEVERE WX : Excessive Heat Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Serena Williams withdraws from Australian Open

Serena Williams won't be defending her Australian Open title after the American withdrew from the first grand slam of...

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 12:31 PM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 12:31 PM

Serena Williams won't be defending her Australian Open title after the American withdrew from the first grand slam of the 2018 season, saying she needs "more time" after giving birth last year.

The 23-time grand slam winner returned to the court at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi at the weekend, less than four months after becoming a mum, but playing that tournament has given the American pause for thought.

Williams gave birth to baby daughter in September

She played an exhibition match in December

American is defending Australian Open champion

"After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be," the 36-year-old 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."

READ: Murray withdraws from Australian Open

READ: Serena opens up on race & power

When Williams won last year's Australian Open she was already two months pregnant.

"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," added Williams. "I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open."

Having broken Steffi Graf's Open Era record last January with a seventh title at Melbourne Park, Williams needs one more grand slam title to equal Margaret Court's all-time record.

Williams, now ranked 22 in the world, is not the only major name to withdraw from the Australian Open, which starts on January 15.

On Thursday, former world No.1 Andy Murray said he would not be competing in Melbourne because of a hip injury, while former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has also withdrawn, saying he has not yet fully recovered from a wrist injury.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more stories & features

It is also yet not certain that six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will play in the year's first grand slam.

The 12-time grand slam winner said on Wednesday that he will make a decision on whether to participate after taking part in two exhibition events next week.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 101050

Reported Deaths: 3895
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles487612201
Riverside7139303
San Diego6882249
Orange5646136
San Bernardino4567176
Alameda304993
Santa Clara2688140
San Francisco240840
San Mateo196382
Kern194136
Tulare179679
Santa Barbara160412
Fresno153526
Contra Costa137537
Imperial135224
Sacramento131956
Ventura101732
San Joaquin77133
Kings6983
Stanislaus67028
Sonoma5244
Solano49920
Monterey4298
Marin42014
Merced2737
San Luis Obispo2631
Santa Cruz2052
Yolo20022
Placer1949
Napa1093
Humboldt982
Madera902
El Dorado800
San Benito762
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Del Norte400
Shasta374
Mono351
Yuba281
Mendocino230
Lake190
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn130
Amador100
Siskiyou61
Colusa50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Lassen40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 72°
Oroville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 74°
Paradise
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Chester
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 50°
Red Bluff
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 104° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Willows
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 107° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 72°
Today a heat wave continues but tomorrow night rain moves in, lasting into Saturday with much cooler temperatures. We warm up again on Tuesday.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events