Serena Williams has admitted it’s not been an easy decision to withdraw from the Australian Open next month, while men’s world number one Novak Djokovic (6/4 Australian Open 2022 outright) has been entered into the tournament.

The 40-year-old American was hoping to feature in the first Grand Slam event of 2022 in Melbourne but feels she is not fully fit to compete.

While missing out was a tough call, the 23-time Grand Slam winner is looking forward to getting back on court in the not too distant future.

“While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” Williams said. “I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level.”

Reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu (12/1 Australian Open 2022 outright), who has just been named newcomer of the year by the Women’s Tennis Association, will take part in her first Aussie Open in January.

In the men’s competition, Djokovic has been entered for the event despite some uncertainty over the Serbian’s Covid vaccination status.

All players are required to be vaccinated if they are to take part in the Grand Slam event, while the nine-time Australian Open winner Djokovic has so far refused to confirm if he has received a vaccine.

Two players who will miss out on the major tournament Down Under are 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer and 2014 Aussie Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, with both men out injured.

From a British perspective, Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Heather Watson will join Raducanu as entrants for the competition.

The Australian Open all gets underway on January 14.

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