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Serena: ‘I will need a little more time’

Williams won’t defend her title at the Australian Open

12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

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12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

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12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

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12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

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12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

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12:03 AMSerena Williams announced on Thursday that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open, just a year after she won the 2017 event while eight weeks pregnant.

And for tennis fans who expect dominance from the best women’s tennis player, that’s probably a good thing.

Based on Williams’ play during a three-set loss to Jelena Ostapenko at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to compete for a major title, and Williams admitted as much in a statement she released via the Australian Open:

After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be. My coach and team said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.”

A loss to Ostapenko shouldn’t be a complete disappointment — the 20-year-old native of Latvia won the 2017 French Open and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the world last year. Williams looked a little sluggish as she played her first competitive match in nearly a year. She gave birth in September 2017 to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

“I don’t think I’m going to rate my performance,” the 36-year-old Williams said after the match last week. “I have plenty of comebacks, from injuries, from surgeries, but I’ve never had a comeback after actually giving birth to a human being.”

It would have been an incredible story for Williams to defend her Aussie championship just one year after winning it while pregnant. Williams said she spent part of the exhibition match against Ostapenko worried about her 4-month-old daughter.

“I was a little worried out there, and looked at my camp and I was like, ‘Is Olympia OK?’ But it’s really good,” Williams said during her postmatch interview.

There was already a sign that Williams might not play in Melbourne: It was announced in December 2017 that she was booked to be the closing keynote speaker at a conference in Florida on Jan. 23. That event is happening during the Australian Open quarterfinals.

The absence of Williams leaves yet another Grand Slam event wide-open. After Williams took a leave after winning the 2017 Australian Open, three women won the next three Grand Slam events, capped by Sloane Stephens winning the U.S. Open in September, her first major title.

Williams now gets to spend more time with her daughter and husband, Alexis, whom she married last November.

Her likely return: sometime before the French Open in May. Williams would be seeking her 24th career Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.