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Page last updated at 08:46 GMT, Thursday, 25 November 2010

Serena Williams withdraws from Australian Open

Serena Williams
Williams has won the last two Australian Opens

Defending champion Serena Williams has pulled out of January's Australian Open because of a longstanding foot injury.

Williams had surgery after cutting her foot on glass in a restaurant while celebrating winning Wimbledon.

"As I recently learned, pushing myself back into my intense training too early only caused further injury," Williams said in a statement.

"It is imperative for my health that I continue to work with my doctors to ensure my foot heals."


The 29-year-old American, who has not played competitively since winning a fourth Wimbledon crown in July, has also withdrawn from the Hopman Cup, which acts as a warm-up event for the year's opening Grand Slam event.

"The decision, though heavy on my heart, is the right one," added five-time Australian Open champion Williams.

"I am praying for a healthy recovery and I promise my Aussie fans and my fans around the world that I will be back better than ever as soon as I can be.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: "Serena is a great champion and we will miss her.

"We send her our very best wishes for a speedy recovery."

The 2011 tournament begins on Monday 17 January.

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see also
Serena confirms end of her season
19 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Serena seals fourth Wimbledon win
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis

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