After making her return to competitive tennis in a losing effort against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko last week in Abu Dhabi, Serena Williams has now officially withdrawn from the 2018 Australian Open.
The official announcement confirms what was already likely, as Williams recently gave birth to her daughter Alexis this past Sept. Following last week's exhibition Williams stated, "I don’t know if I am totally ready to come back on the tour yet. I know that when I come back I definitely want to be competing for championships. I am definitely looking forward to getting back out there. I am taking it one day at a time. I am going to assess everything with my team before deciding.”
A statement posted by Williams on Snapchat states, "After performing in my first match after giving birth I have realized that although I am super close I'm not where I want to be." It goes on to read, "I am disappointed to say I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year."
The 2017 Australian Open was Williams' last major tournament before taking extended time off for her pregnancy. She even won the event, defeating her sister Venus while more than two months pregnant, because simply put, she is the G.O.A.T. Although Serena will not be able to defend her title in 2018, there will most likely be more Grand Slams added to her current total of 23 once she is ready to take the court again.
In other Serena Williams news, it was recently announced that Nike would be naming a building in its new World Headquarters expansion after the tennis star. It's expected to be completed some time in 2019.
The 2018 Australian Open is scheduled to kick of on Jan. 15 in Melbourne.