Serena Williams has confirmed she won’t be playing at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. Williams kicks off her Wimbledon 2021 campaign on Tuesday as she seeks a record-levelling 24th Grand Slam title, but she isn’t representing the USA at next month’s Olympic Games.
The 39-year-old qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in May as the second-highest ranked female player in the WTA rankings.
She is currently placed eighth, with only world number six Sofia Kenin higher among the USA’s female stars.
Despite her qualification during the Italian Open, she admitted that she wasn’t sure whether she would represent her nation this summer.
She said: “It was supposed to be last year, and now it’s this year, and then there is this pandemic, and there is so much to think about.
“Then there is the Grand Slams. It’s just a lot. So I have really been taking it one day at a time to a fault, and I definitely need to figure out my next moves.”
Speaking ahead of Wimbledon, Williams has now confirmed that she will not compete at the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games.
“I’m actually not on the Olympic list, not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it,” Williams explained.
“There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t really want to – I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.
“I have not thought about it. In the past it’s been a wonderful place for me.
“I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it.”
The 39-year-old returns to Wimbledon this year, searching for an eighth title and her first since 2016.
She starts her campaign against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round.
Williams decision to withdraw from the Tokyo Olympics doesn’t come as a significant surprise, but it’s big news in the world of tennis.
Perhaps, like Roger Federer, her performance at Wimbledon may sway her decision, but it appears as if her mind is currently made up.