Melbourne: Multiple grand slam champions Serena and Venus Williams withdrew from women`s doubles competition at the Australian Open on Wednesday before first round action got underway.
Tennis Australia, which handles all of the withdrawals for the tournament, were unable to give a reason why the 13-time grand slam and three-time Olympic champions were unable to play their match against 11th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shedova.
Irina Falconi and Petra Martic took the Williams sisters` place in the draw, though were beaten 6-3 6-3 by the Spanish/Kazakh pairing.
Medina Garrigues and Shvedova will now face either the pairing of Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson or Mirajana Lucic-Baroni and Lisa Raymond.
Both Serena and Venus play their second round singles matches on Thursday.