Serena Williams won't defend her Australian Open title. Following the birth of her child in September 2017, Williams said she still isn't where she wants to be and won't go to a tournament if she's not prepared to go all the way. Williams, however, also said she is "super close."
"After performing in my first match after giving birth, I realized that, although l am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be," Williams said in a statement on Thursday. "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 continued. "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."
Williams made her return to tennis last week in a loss to Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi. While she said afterwards that it was a "wonderful match" for her. "I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I've never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being," she told ESPN.
Williams won the Australian Open last January while she was eight weeks pregnant with Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. The world found out three months later when Williams announced on Snapchat that she was around 20 weeks pregnant.