A year ago, Serena Williams played an won the Australian Open while pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia. But this year, neither the tennis champion nor her 4-month-old baby girl will join the tournament.
Just twelve days before the sports event begins, the 36-year-old tennis star announced that she has decided to pull out from the Australian Open, via an official statement shared on Snapchat on Thursday night.
“After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized that although I am super close I’m not where I personally want to be,” Serena said in her statement. “My coach and team always said ‘Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ With that being said I am disappointed to say I’ve decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year.”
In 217, Williams won her seventh Australian Open while secretly being approximately eight weeks pregnant with her then fiancé and now-husband Alexis Ohanian. The historic triumph summed up to the 22 Grand Slam title she already had at the time.
“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. I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open.”
The news of her absence in the tournament comes a couple of weeks after the legendary athlete was defeated by the French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 20, in an exhibition game at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Hopefully Serena will soon be back on the courts with little Olympia by her side—only this time, she’ll be cheering her mamma from the stands!