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Serena Williams pulls out of Australian Open

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Melbourne, Dec 8 (IANS) Former World number one Serena Williams has pulled out of the Australian Open 2022 following advice from the medical team on Wednesday.

Serena, a seven-time winner of the Australian Open, revealed that she was not fit to compete at the first Grand Slam of the upcoming season.

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“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.

“Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level,” Serena added.

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Serena was a semifinalist in 2021, defeating Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep before falling to eventual champion Naomi Osaka. A left knee injury sidelined her until the clay season this year. The 23-time Grand Slam winner reached the fourth round of Roland Garros but has not competed since an ankle injury forced her to retire six games into her first-round Wimbledon clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich. She is currently ranked World No.41.

On Tuesday, former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu explained her decision to quit the Australian Open on Twitter.

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“Hi everyone. As you all know, the last two years have been very challenging for me for a variety of reasons,” Andreescu wrote.

“Especially this year in particular, I spent multiple weeks in isolation quarantining, which affected me greatly – both mentally and physically. In addition, my grandmother spent several weeks in the ICU for a COVID infection, something that really hit me hard.

“A lot of days, I did not feel like myself, especially while I was training and/or playing matches. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders. I could not detach myself from everything that was going on off the court; was feeling the collective sadness and turmoil around and it took its toll on me,” she said.

–IANS

inj/cs

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