"With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year", she added.
Her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, says that left Williams with insufficient time to prepare for the Australian Open, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion expected to compete at Indian Wells and Miami, in March. But, after losing to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi last week, the pro has made a decision to take some downtime before heading to the Melbourne competition later this month. "It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete".
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam victor and the reigning Australian Open champion, said: "Although I am super close, I'm not where I want to be". "I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time". "I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian open", she said.
Kim Clijsters returned from retirement after having a daughter, Jada Elle, in February 2008, and won the 2009 U.S. Open in her third tournament back.
The seven-time Australian Open champion confirmed Friday she wouldn't attempt to defend the title she won here a year ago, saying she wasn't convinced she could win it.
According to the Associated Press, Williams struggled with the first round of their match and scored 6-2 in favor of Ostapenko.
Wishing her all the best for the rest of 2018.
Serena Williams will not participate at this year's Australian Open.
Victoria Azarenka: the two-time champion and former world No.1 remains locked in a custody battle that is preventing her son leaving California.
"She's taken a decision that she wants to focus fully on her defence of the Australian Open and we've got to respect that", Sydney Morning Herald quoted Robertson, as saying.
There are also doubts over the fitness of Spanish world number one Rafael Nadal and Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka, who won the title in 2014. "There are a couple of exhibition events down there that she may choose to play in".