After giving birth to her first child in September, Serena returned to the court on December 30 at the World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, but lost the exhibition match against Jelena Ostapenko.
"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 in a statement.
The 23-time grand slam victor returned to the court at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi at the weekend, less than four months after becoming a mum, but playing that tournament has given the American pause for thought.More news: WHO Says Video Games Are A Health Hazard, Gaming Industry Vehemently Disagrees
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"Serena transcends the sport in the way she approaches all aspects of her life and consistently gives her all in everything she does. With that being said I am disappointed to say I've decided not to compete in The Australian Open this year".
"We all wish her the very best and I look forward to seeing her back on court this year, and can't wait to welcome her back to the Australian Open in 2019".
Williams is the latest big name to withdraw from the year's opening Grand Slam, which will be played from January 15 to 28, with Britain's Andy Murray (hip) and Japan's Kei Nishikori (wrist) having already said they would not compete.
The decision did not come easily or quickly for Williams, who is only one Grand Slam title away from achieving an all-time record in wins.