Australian Open: Serena Makes Final Decision
The Australian Open is a little more than a week away and defending champion Serena Williams has announced that she will not be competing this year after all. Williams had remained hopeful of being fit and ready to contend until the very last, but on Thursday announced that her decision was to withdraw from the 2018 instalment of the event.
The 36 year old played her first match last week since giving birth to her daugther, Olympia. Williams was two months pregnant with Olympia when she won last year’s Australian Open.
Williams lost last week’s match against Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 3-6 in Abu Dhabi. It had obviously been a learning curve and telling match for the 23-time Grand Slam champion, as the decision to compete in this year’s Australian Open was made shortly after.
Commenting on her decision to the press, Williams said that it was not good enough for her to contend merely for the sake of contending, but that whenever she made a decision to contend it was a choice to go all the way, and that she simply wasn’t where she wanted to be in order to successfully defend her title.
Andy Murray Faces Disappointment
Serena Williams isn’t the only star to have withdrawn from this month’s Open. British star Andy Murray announced on Thursday that he too, would not be competing this year. Murray sustained a hip injury and has been effectively out of action since playing Wimbledon last summer. Like Williams, Murray too had been hoping to have recovered sufficiently to be able to compete come January 15th, but it has become apparent that this will not be the reality.
Murray may face more than just disappointment at not being able to play in the Australian Open in the event that it becomes necessary for surgery. Andrew Castle commented on the situation to the press, saying that in the event that surgery did become unavoidable, chances were that Murray would not be returning to play professionally at all and that he would effectively have to retire.
Castle also said that he (Castle) did not know the extent of Murray’s injury and that the hope was that surgery, and especially a hip replacement, could be avoided altogether.
Murray had been undergoing six months of intense rehabilitation and fitness training and was notably disappointed at having to return to London instead of being able to compete.
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