several times and suffering a right hamstring leg injury.
"Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year's Australian Open," Williams said in a statement on Wednesday.
"While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete. Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year. I will miss seeing the fans but am excited to return and compete at my highest level."
Possible comeback tennis tournaments for Williams could be at Indian Wells, California the week of March 7th or at Charleston, South Carolina the week of April 4th.
The 34 year old Djokovic has not only won the Australian Open the last three years, he has
also won Wimbledon the last three years it was played (2018, 2019, 2021). Wimbledon was not played in 2020 due to Covid 19.
January's Australian Open has made Covid 19 vaccination mandatory for all tennis players, onsite workers and fans.
However Djokovic has refused to disclose his vaccination status so far.
The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Thursday that Djokovic would be subject to "any of the same rules that anyone else would be seeking to come to Australia. There are no special rules for tennis players or anyone else."
He added, "Those decisions are being made by medical officials and other officials, not by politicians."