Serena Williams out in latest blow to Australian Open

Novak Djokovic has added the Kooyong Classic to his schedule as the former world number one attempts to prove his fitness ahead of the Australian Open.

Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam champion, has not played since being forced to retire against Tomas Berdych in the Wimbledon quarter-finals back in July after experiencing pain in his elbow.

However, Djokovic is now set to face the likes of Dominic Thiem, David Goffin and Marin Cilic at the Kooyong Classic and will join Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios at the Tie Break Tens event. "I can compete - but I don't want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time", Williams said in a statement.

Williams, whose grand slam tally is just one shy of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court, said she was disappointed to withdraw but looked forward to returning in the future.

Her withdrawal comes less than 24 hours after fellow former world No. 1 Andy Murray withdrew from the men's event because of a chronic hip injury.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner has played just one match since giving birth in September and said: "Although I am super close, I'm not where I want to be". "I appreciate the support and understanding of my fans and everyone at the Australian Open".

Serena Williams will not defend her title at Melbourne Park this month after withdrawing from the Australian Open.

Tiley also expressed his admiration for Serena's efforts to return to the game she loves.

He had been scheduled to appear at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in the United Arab Emirates and then return to the ATP circuit at the Doha Open.

"It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete, she wants to give herself the best chance to win".

  • Ricardo Clara