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Serena Williams has decided to pull out of this year’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

The former world No 1 last week played her first match since giving birth in September.

Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam winner and the reigning Australian Open champion, said: “Although I am super close, I’m not where I want to be.”

On January 4, Andy Murray pulled out of the tournament, which starts on January 15.

Serena Williams, 36, was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Olympia when she won her seventh Australian Open title in 2017.

The now world No 22 said: “My coach and team always said ‘only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way’.

“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.

“The memory of last year’s Open is one that I will carry with me, and Olympia and I look forward to coming back again.”

Image source Getty Images

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Wedding: A-Listers Storm New Orleans Star-Studded Bash

Serena Williams Welcomes Baby Girl

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “I’ve been in constant contact with Serena and her team and know this is why she has pushed it and pushed it until the 11th hour to make her final decision.

“Serena transcends the sport in the way she approaches all aspects of her life. It was never going to be good enough for her to just compete.”

Serena Williams lost an exhibition contest against Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi on December 30, 2017, in her first match since giving birth in September.

It is the first time since 2011 that Serena Williams has missed the tournament.

On January 4, men’s world No 4 Kei Nishikori withdrew because of a wrist injury.

There are also doubts over the fitness of No 1 Rafael Nadal and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, who won the title in 2014.

Novak Djokovic, a six-time Australian Open champion, may also miss out with an elbow injury.


Tennis player Petra Kvitova said she is “fortunate to be alive” after being injured in a knife attack at her home on December 20.

The 26-year-old Wimbledon champion has been treated for a left-hand injury – her playing hand – following the incident in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov.

Petra Kvitova said: “The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists.”

Her representative, Karel Tejkal, described the incident as a burglary.

Image source Wikimedia

“It was a random crime, nobody was going to attack or rob her as Petra Kvitova,” he said.

Petra Kvitova, who is ranked 11 in the world and has won a career total of 19 titles, including Grand Slam victories at Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, said: “Thank you for all your heartwarming messages.

“As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife. In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand.

“I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this. Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery.”

Petra Kvitova had announced earlier in the day that a foot injury forced her to withdraw from January’s Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.


Novak Djokovic complained to the umpire that he could smell cannabis on court during his Rogers Cup semi-final win over French Jeremy Chardy.

After winning the first set, the world No 1 approached the chair, saying: “Someone is smoking weed, I can smell it, I’m getting dizzy.”

Novak Djokovic later told reporters: “You can’t believe how bad it was. Novak Djokovic complains about cannabis smell at Rogers Cup

“Whoever it is, I hope he doesn’t come back tomorrow. He’s probably on the seventh sky somewhere.”

The Serb said he had also noticed the issue during a doubles match with partner Janko Tipsarevic on August 14.

“Yesterday in the doubles match, today again. Somebody’s really enjoying his life around the tennis court,” he joked.

Novak Djokovic went on to close out a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Jeremy Chardy in the semi-final.

Serena Williams won this year’s French Open final against Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova to claim her 20th Grand Slam title.

WTA No 1 Serena Williams, 33, needed two hours and one minute to win 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 at Roland Garros.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Lucie Safarova, who played her first Grand Slam final, led by a break in the decider but Serena Williams won the last six games.

Serena Williams becomes the third player – male or female – to win 20 major singles titles.

Only Germany’s Steffi Graf on 22 has won more since the open era began in 1968, with Australia’s Margaret Court collecting 24 between 1960 and 1973.

Victory at Wimbledon in July would see Serena Williams hold all four major titles at once, having managed the feat already in 2003.

President Barack Obama and World No 5 Caroline Wozniacki played tennis at the White House as part of the annual Easter Egg Roll event on April 6.

Caroline Wozniacki took part at this year’s themed #gimmefive campaign aimed at promoting more active and healthy lifestyles among American people.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

This year’s White House Easter Egg Roll was broadcast on Live! with Kelly and Michael.

Rolling Easter eggs on the White House South Lawn is one of the most eagerly anticipated spring events in Washington DC.

The White House hosts the Easter Egg Roll every year, inviting children and their parents to come and hunt for eggs, take part in sports activities and enjoy celebrity appearances.

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Tennis player Wayne Odesnik has been banned for 15 years after the second doping violation of his career.

Wayne Odesnik’s urine samples tested positive for metabolites of the anabolic steroid methenolone and androst and growth hormone, which are prohibited substances under WADA’s code, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the anti-doping program run by the international tennis federation announced on March 18.Wayne Odesnik gets 15 year ban

He has played in three tournaments this season and is ranked No. 267 in the world.

Wayne Odesnik, 29, was born in South Africa and moved to the US at age 3. He has never won an ATP Tour title and reached a career-best ranking of No. 77 in 2009.

He served a one-year ban in 2010, when he was found with eight vials of HGH in his luggage when he arrived in Australia for a tournament.

Wayne Odesnik provided an out-of-competition urine sample to USADA on December 14, 2014, and two more samples to the ITF on December 17 and January 12.


Tennis player Elena Baltacha has died of liver cancer at the age of 30.

Born in Ukraine and raised in Scotland, former British number one Elena Baltacha revealed she had the illness in March 2014.

Elena Baltacha, who was British number one for nearly three years, retired from the sport in November 2013.

Elena Baltacha, who was British number one for nearly three years, retired from the sport in November 2013

Elena Baltacha, who was British number one for nearly three years, retired from the sport in November 2013 (photo Wikipedia)

“We are heartbroken beyond words at the loss of our beautiful, talented and determined Bally,” said husband Nino Severino, who was also her coach.

Elena Baltacha learned she had liver cancer in mid-January 2014, two months after retiring from professional tennis and only a few weeks after marrying.

“She was an amazing person and she touched so many people with her inspirational spirit, her warmth and her kindness,” added Nino Severino.

Elena Baltacha was diagnosed with primary sclerosis cholangitis, a chronic liver condition which compromises the immune system, at the age of 19.

Despite her illness and multiple injury problems, Elena Baltacha went on to reach the Australian Open third round in 2005 and 2010 and reached a career-high world ranking of 49.

Elena Baltacha won 11 singles titles, made the third round of Wimbledon in 2002 and was part of Great Britain’s Fed Cup team for 11 years.


Tunisia has been suspended from the Davis Cup after tennis player Malek Jaziri was ordered not to compete against an Israeli opponent last month.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said there was no room for prejudice in sport and the one-year ban was a “fitting penalty”.

Malek Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger last month ahead of a match against Amir Weintraub.

Malek Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger last month ahead of a match against Amir Weintraub

Malek Jaziri withdrew from the Tashkent Challenger last month ahead of a match against Amir Weintraub

He was cleared of wrongdoing.

Officials found Malek Jaziri – who had claimed to be suffering from a knee injury – had been ordered to pull out of the match.

The ITF board voted unanimously to suspend the Tunisian Tennis Federation for one year from the Davis Cup, one of the most important tournaments in men’s tennis.

“There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. The ITF Board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members,” said ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti.