Serena Williams will not compete in the Tokyo Olympic games next month.
The 23-time grand slam champion already qualified for a spot in this year’s game. Over a Wimbledon press conference on Sunday, however, she said she would not make the trip and did not want to explain why she planned to skip these Olympics.
“I’m actually not on the Olympic list, not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision and I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.”
Williams, 39, owns four gold medals. After winning her first gold medal alongside her sister, Venus, in Sydney in 2000, she went on to win three more — one in singles in London in 2012 and two in doubles in Beijing in 2008 and London. She competed in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro, but lost in the third round of singles competition and the first round of doubles.
When asked what missing these Olympics will be like, Williams said: “I have not thought about it. In the past, it’s been a wonderful place for me, but I really haven’t thought about it. So I’m gonna keep not thinking about it.”
Williams joins a growing list of top ranked tennis players opting not to travel to Tokyo in July.
Reigning U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem announced on June 17 he would not compete in Tokyo. Thiem at the time said on Twitter he did not “feel ready to play his best.” Thiem was later forced to withdraw from Wimbledon because of a wrist injury. Rafael Nadal announced that same day he would not compete in Wimbledon or Tokyo. “After listening to my body and discuss it with my team I understand that it is the right decision,” Nadal then wrote on Twitter. And Roger Federer said on Saturday he would not make his decision to participate in this year’s games until after Wimbledon.
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