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Reigning champion Serena Williams pulls out of Australian Open

05 January 2018

He was due to take part in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi and was also scheduled to defend his Qatar Open, but had to withdraw due to elbow pain. The tennis star, who was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title previous year, confirmed that she would not be returning to the court as she "needs more time". In terms of total years, it was the oldest Grand Slam women's final in the Open era -Williams sisters combining for 71 years, 11 months.

The former world No.1, who won the last of his 12 Grand Slam honours when he captured his maiden French Open title in 2016, has not played since retiring against Czech Tomas Berdych with the injury in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July. Tiley further pointed out that Serena always want to give her absolute best and that she doesn't head into any event just to compete. Meanwhile, Tie Break Tens is scheduled to see the return of other injury affected stars in World No 1 Rafa Nadal and 2014 Australian Open victor Stan Wawrinka.

Tournament director Craig Tiley called Williams' efforts to try and be ready for a title defence at the Australian Open "Herculean" and said she transcended the sport.

The defending champion said in a statement on Friday that she was "not where I personally want to be".

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Williams began last year's Australian Open one week after learning she was pregnant.

Six-time Australian Open victor Djokovic still remains highly doubtful for the Australian Open but will be travelling to Australia to compete in the Tie Break Tens at the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park on January 10.

Britain's Andy Murray (hip) and Japan's Kei Nishikori (wrist) having already said they would not compete.

Reigning champion Serena Williams pulls out of Australian Open