Serena Williams has pulled out of the Australian Open set to be held later this month. The 23-time Grand Slam champion said she needs more time to recover from giving birth in September after being eight weeks pregnant during last year's triumph at Melbourne Park.
The 36-year-old American was eight weeks pregnant last year when she triumphed for the seventh time at Melbourne Park to claim an Open-era record 23rd grand slam title and then took the rest of the year off before giving birth to a daughter.
The former world number one is now 22nd in the world rankings, and has played just once in public since, losing an exhibition contest to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi last week.
Williams is also one Grand Slam victory away from equaling the all-time record held by Aussie legend Margaret and hasn't specified when she aims to make a comeback.