Serena out of Hopman Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Serena out of Hopman Cup

By Chris Lines 22/12/2003 05:32:19 PM Comments (0)

Defending champion Serena Williams will go cold into next month's Australian Open after withdrawing from the Hopman Cup.

Williams said she would not return to Perth for the New Year period to defend her Hopman Cup title because her recovery from knee surgery had been slower than expected.

The American said the withdrawal would allow her to pace her preparation for Melbourne Park.

Williams has not played since winning Wimbledon last year, due to ligament damage in her left knee that required surgery.

She has not entered any of the other Australian Open lead-up events in Sydney, Hobart, Canberra or the Gold Coast, leaving her preparation for the year's opening grand slam seriously compromised.

She also had to deal with the shooting death of her sister Yetunde in September.

"It's not ideal, which is why she intended to play Hopman - she wanted those matches as part of her preparation," Australian Open and Hopman Cup director Paul McNamee said.

"She would have had to play (Amelie) Mauresmo and (Anastasia) Myskina - top ten players - at the Hopman Cup and she doesn't feel ready to go.

"She's putting all her energies into being ready for day one in Melbourne."

McNamee had no reason to believe Williams would not be available for a Melbourne Park defence.

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