Australian Open disappointment grows as Venus Willams joins sister Serena in pulling out

Australian Open: Venus Williams defeated by Coco Gauff

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A fresh blow has been dealt for organisers of this month’s Australian Open, as seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams has become the latest star to pull out of the event, according to News Corp.

Williams joins her sister Serena in making the decision to withdraw from the opening Grand Slam of the year due to injury.

Venus has seen a plummet down the world rankings in recent months after her 2021 season was plagued by injury problems, as her left outing came back in August last year.

And it seems the wait for her return to the court will now go on even longer, after declaring her absence from January’s tournament in Melbourne.

The 41-year-old’s decision not to play down under means that the Australian Open will be without one of the famous Williams sisters for the first time in 24 years.

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The Melbourne-based tournament is the only Grand Slam that evades Venus, having made the final on two occasions in 2003 and 2017.

Her younger sibling Serena has however had more luck down under, having won three Australian Open titles in 2002, 2013 and 2015.

However the 40-year-old will not be competing for a fourth this time around, after she confirmed her withdrawal in a statement in November.

In the statement Serena expressed her disappointment of missing out on the event, commenting: “While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete.

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“Melbourne is one of my favourite 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.”

Whilst her withdrawal was no doubt a disappointment, many tennis fans may not have been too surprised after not featuring on the court since July last year. 

The 40-year-old’s last outing came in the 2021 Wimbledon event in the summer, where she was forced to retire from her first round match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

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