As was expected, the 23-time Major champion Serena Williams will not travel to Melbourne in January, skipping the Australian Open for the sixth time in her career. The seven-time Australian Open champion is still dealing with an injury that forced her to miss the second part of the current season, needing more time to recover and get back at 100% in her quest for the elusive 24th Major title. Williams will finish the season ranked outside the top-40 for the first time since 2006, playing only six tournaments in 2021. The American veteran struggled with injuries and wrapped up the season after tearing her hamstring in the Wimbledon first round. Serena skipped the home Major in New York and decided to call it a year and make a fresh start at some point in 2022.
Serena Williams will miss the Australian Open, needing more time to recover.
Williams claimed the 23rd Major crown at the Australian Open 2017 and moved one behind the all-time leader Margaret Court. The great American took a break from tennis to give berth to a child later that year and returned in the spring of 2018, keen to continue where she left. Determined to get back where she belongs, Williams reached four Major finals at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019, losing them all and failing to make an extra step and match Court’s record. Serena has been dealing with numerous injuries in the past couple of years, including one at the last year’s Roland Garros. Williams recovered in time for this year’s Australian Open and chased the eighth Melbourne crown in February.
Delivering her best tennis since returning in 2018, Serena defeated five rivals to reach the semis, including notable victories over the top-10 rivals Aryna Sabalenka and Simona Halep! Setting eyes on the trophy, Williams faced Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster clash and suffered a tough 6-3, 6-4 defeat. Competing in Rome and Parma on clay in May, the American suffered early exits before scoring three wins at Roland Garros. Elena Rybakina proved to be too strong in the last 16, and Serena switched focus to her beloved Wimbledon. In another setback, Williams retired in the opening round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after only six completed games due to an injury, not playing since then and missing the start of 2022.