Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “I’ve been in constant contact with Serena and her team and know this is why she has pushed it and pushed it until the 11th hour to make her final decision.
“Serena transcends the sport in the way she approaches all aspects of her life. It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete.”
Serena Williams lost an exhibition contest against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi on December 30, 2017, in her first match since giving birth in September.
It is the first time since 2011 that Serena Williams has missed the tournament.
On January 4, men’s world No 4 Kei Nishikori withdrew because of a wrist injury.
There are also doubts over the fitness of No 1 Rafael Nadal and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, who won the title in 2014.
Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, may also miss out with an elbow injury.
Tennis player Petra Kvitova said she is “fortunate to be alive” after being injured in a knife attack at her home on December 20.
The 26-year-old Wimbledon champion has been treated for a left-hand injury – her playing hand – following the incident in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.
Petra Kvitova said: “The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists.”
Her representative, Karel Tejkal, described the incident as a burglary.
Image source Wikimedia
“It was a random crime, nobody was going to attack or rob her as Petra Kvitova,” he said.
Petra Kvitova, who is ranked 11 in the world and has won a career total of 19 titles, including Grand Slam victories at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, said: “Thank you for all your heartwarming messages.
“As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife. In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand.
“I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this. Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery.”
Petra Kvitova had announced earlier in the day that a foot injury forced her to withdraw from January’s Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.
Tennis player Wayne Odesnik has been banned for 15 years after the second doping violation of his career.
Wayne Odesnik’s urine samples tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid methenolone and androst and growth hormone, which are prohibited substances under WADA’s code, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the anti-doping program run by the international tennis federation announced on March 18.
He has played in three tournaments this season and is ranked No. 267 in the world.
Wayne Odesnik, 29, was born in South Africa and moved to the US at age 3. He has never won an ATP Tour title and reached a career-best ranking of No. 77 in 2009.
He served a one-year ban in 2010, when he was found with eight vials of HGH in his luggage when he arrived in Australia for a tournament.
Wayne Odesnik provided an out-of-competition urine sample to USADA on December 14, 2014, and two more samples to the ITF on December 17 and January 12.
Tunisia has been suspended from the Davis Cup after tennis player Malek Jaziri was ordered not to compete against an Israeli opponent last month.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said there was no room for prejudice in sport and the one-year ban was a “fitting penalty”.
Malek Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger last month ahead of a match against Amir Weintraub.
Malek Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger last month ahead of a match against Amir Weintraub
He was cleared of wrongdoing.
Officials found Malek Jaziri – who had claimed to be suffering from a knee injury – had been ordered to pull out of the match.
The ITF board voted unanimously to suspend the Tunisian Tennis Federation for one year from the Davis Cup, one of the most important tournaments in men’s tennis.
“There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. The ITF Board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members,” said ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti.