Melbourne: Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to a foot injury and won`t be defending her title at the first tennis Grand Slam of next season.
Tournament director Craig Tiley released a statement saying Williams had withdrawn from the Hopman Cup international mixed teams competition in Perth and the Australian Open in January.
Williams had surgery after cutting her foot on broken glass at a restaurant following her title win at Wimbledon. She returned to practice in September but twice put off her comeback.
She said she had more surgery last month and couldn`t risk returning before the injury had properly healed.
"As I recently learned, pushing myself back into my intense training too early only caused me further injury and damage," Williams was quoted as saying. "While I desperately want to be back on the court and competing in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, it is imperative for my health that I continue to work with my doctors to ensure my foot heals properly.”
"This decision, though heavy on my heart, is the right one."
Williams has won the Australian Open five times, including the past two.
"Serena is a great champion and we will miss her in January," Tiley said.