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Serena Williams confirms she will not compete at Tokyo Olympics and rates Wimbledon chances


The tennis superstar is a four-time gold medallist (Picture: Getty Images)

Serena Williams has confirmed she will not be taking part at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer, while she played down suggestions the Wimbledon draw was looking favourable after the withdrawal of a host of star names.

The 39-year-old competed at her first Games at Sydney in 2000, over two decades ago, and has won four gold medals, three of which have come in doubles alongside sister Venus as well as the singles title at London 2012.

Despite being a firm advocate of the Olympics being part of the tennis calendar, Williams says she will not be participating this time though did not want to elaborate on her reasoning.

Serena has won three doubles gold medals alongside sister Venus (Getty)

Speaking at her pre-Wimbledon media conference on Sunday, the 23-time Grand Slam champion said: ‘I’m actually not on the Olympic list, so… Not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it.’

Probed further, she added: ‘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.’

On how it will feel not to take part, Williams replied: ‘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.’

Williams had previously indicated that travel restrictions for athletes wanting to compete in Japan meant she would not be able to take her three-year-old daughter Olympia with her, which she was not prepared to do.

The seven-time Wimbledon champion is bidding to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam singles title over the next two weeks in SW19.

This year the likes of reigning champion Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka are not taking part, presenting Williams with arguably one of her best opportunities to win a title in recent years, though she still believes the draw is stacked with top players.

She continued: ‘I think that the women’s draw is so deep, regardless to who you play.

Williams has been practicing at Wimbledon ahead of her first game on Tuesday (Getty)

‘You really have to show up now. There’s no longer matches that are going to be a sure walk-through. You just have to really have your head in, have your game on.’

Asked if this year’s tournament feels particularly open, Williams continued: ‘Yeah. I feel like, if anything, everyone plays really hard.

‘I feel like it doesn’t matter who you play, you have to be ready. Everyone’s here. Everyone worked really hard to be here. So, yeah, I see it as an opportunity to just keep going.’


MORE :
Roger Federer to make Olympics decision after Wimbledon


MORE : ‘I don’t want it to be my last Wimbledon’ – Andy Murray prepares for SW19 return against player facing domestic abuse charges

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