Serena Williams won’t take part in the 2022 Australian Open, which will serve as the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Williams, who hasn’t played competitive tennis since Wimbledon, confirmed her decision in a statement released by the Australian Open’s official website.
According to the statement, Williams decided to skip the tournament following the advice of her medical team.
“Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit, and I look forward to playing at the AO every year,” Williams added. “I will miss seeing the fans, but I am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”
Serena Williams hasn’t played competitive tennis since 2021 Wimbledon. Playing against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round, Williams suffered a hamstring injury and was forced to withdraw from the tournament.
Williams won the Australian Open seven times, most recently in 2017. This was also the last Grand Slam title for the 40-year-old. She currently has 23 Grand Slams, one short of Margaret Court’s career record of 24 major trophies.
This year’s Australian Open is set to take place between January 17th and January 30th. Naomi Osaka will defend its title in women’s singles while Novak Djokovic returns as the reigning champion in men’s singles.