One year after winning the Australian Open while pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, Serena Williams announced that she won’t be returning Down Under to defend her title. The 36-year-old tennis star revealed that she was withdrawing from the tournament via a statement shared on her Snapchat.
“After performing my first match after giving birth, I realized that although I am super close I’m not where I personally want to be,” Serena stated. “My coach and teams 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.”
VIEW GALLERY Serena Williams gave birth to her first child last September Photo: Instagram/serenawilliams
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.”
Serena, who gave birth to her daughter in September, made her post-baby return to the tennis court last month to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. In the end, Alexis Ohanian's wife ended up losing her exhibition match to Jelena Ostapenko. Following the competition, Serena admitted, “Motherhood is phenomenal. I was a little worried out there [on the court]. I looked at my camp and I was like, 'Is Olympia okay?'”
VIEW GALLERY The tennis star returned to the court in December 2017 Photo: Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Nonetheless, the mom-of-one was happy to return to the game she loves. "It's good to be back on court,” she shared, though Serena noted, “First matches back are always super incredibly hard, especially after having a baby but it was great. I'm glad I could do it here."