One of the greatest living athletes of our time, Serena Williams, gave birth September 1. She was planing to go dominate the Australian Open, but after losing her first official match post-baby against Jelena Ostapenko on Saturday, Williams has announced she will withdraw from the competition.
The New York Times reports that Williams shared the announcement on Snapchat first, saying that after that match she realized she’s not where she wants to be to compete:
“After performing in my first match after giving birth I realized that, although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said on Thursday in a statement that was first posted to Snapchat. “My coach and team always said, ‘Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’”
Williams was ranked No. 1 after winning the Australian Open last year, but will drop out of the rankings entirely with this withdrawal. It will also remove her from other events, but her status and protected ranking should allow her entrance into at least two Grand Slams and six other tournaments automatically.
While Williams and her team suspected she wouldn’t be able to make it to Melbourne, it’s still disappointing, especially for tennis fans who need that star power inspo. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is trying to break Margaret Court’s record of 24. She managed to have a baby and get on her feet to compete just four months laters. Even with this setback, we can probably expect to see Williams reach that goal.