Pretty much as expected, new mom Serena Williams has announced that she will miss her title defense at the 2018 Australian Open, saying that she can compete, but she doesn’t want to just compete, she wants to do far better than that and at this moment it’s not possible.
Even though Nike created stunning white and gold kicks for her Melbourne appearance, the American will skip the tournament for the first time since 2011. Williams says she’s super close, but still not where she wants to be. A week ago she played her first match since giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) exhibition in Abu Dhabi, and she lost to Jelena Ostapenko.
Williams, who was eight weeks pregnant when she lifted the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup in 2017, said:
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.
Even though a month ago Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley tried to assure us that Williams would be ready, it’s understandable that four and a half months after giving birth is not a long enough period for a woman to be able to compete at a Grand Slam, at such a high level that’s expected from a legend that Serena is.