Serena Williams, one of the world’s most decorated athletes, announced her decision to withdraw from the 2018 Australian Open.
Williams posted a heartfelt Snapchat message, revealing that she needs” more time” after giving birth to her first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September. The tennis champion came to the realization after participating in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi over the weekend.
“After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams, 36, said. “My coach and team always 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,” she wrote.
The new mom triumphantly won the Open last year while she was two months pregnant, unbeknownst to everyone.
“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,” Williams added to her statement. “I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open.”
The Australian Open’s official Twitter page wished the superstar luck in her future endeavors on its official Twitter account Thursday.
Williams, a 23-grand slam winner, has enjoyed documenting most of her most intimate family moments on social media after giving birth and marrying Alexis Ohanian in 2017.