Novak Djokovic explains his plans ahead of Australian Open

Novak Djokovic explains his plans ahead of Australian Open

Serena Williams will not be defending her Australian Open title at this year's tournament.

After Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori, Serena is the third big name to pull out of the season opening Grand Slam, starting later this month.

The 36-year-old was hoping to return to the court after the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia in September.

"My coach and team always said "only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way".

"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".

"My rehab is going well but I am just not ready 100% to come back yet in best of five set matches".

"I am very sorry to announce that I will miss the Aussie Open this year", said Nishikori.

She had won the tournament seven times, with her first victory coming in 2003.

"Serena transcends the sport in the way she approaches all aspects of her life and consistently gives her all in everything she does".

The Serbian had earlier pulled out of Abu Dhabi exhibition and Qatar Open in Doha with elbow injury that has kept him out of action since Wimbledon previous year.

Lawrence Robertson, the tournament director, revealed that representatives from the tournament had been speaking to Williams' and her team for about three months about potentially playing in the tournament, though the American confirmed to the tournament earlier today she would not be in action.

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.

He was upset in Round Two of the Australian Open by Uzbekistani Denis Istomin, ranked 117th in the world at the time, and also lost in the Quarter Finals of the French Open to Dominic Thiem.

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