Serena Williams revealed on Sunday that she will not play in the Tokyo 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 told reporters.
Williams did not reveal her reasons for not heading to Tokyo.
“There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision,” she said. “I don’t really want to … I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.”
She continued: “In the past it’s (Olympics) been a wonderful place for me, but I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it.”
Williams has won four gold medals at past Summer Games for the United States: in both singles and doubles at the 2012 London Olympics. She also took home medals for the doubles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics.
After Williams announced the news, U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier issued the following statement to the Associated Press.
“Ultimately, the decision to participate in the Games is an individual one, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we recognize and respect the personal decisions made by our top athletes regarding participation in the Tokyo Games,” said Widmaier. “Although we fully support the IOC and the [International Tennis Federation], and have encouraged our athletes to participate, we recognize the fact that in this unique time, some athletes may choose not to participate for personal reasons.”
Tennis champ Naomi Osaka recently pulled out of the French Open and announced she would not be playing Wimbledon this year.
However, Osaka confirmed she would be playing in the Tokyo Olympics.
“Naomi won’t be playing Wimbledon this year,” a statement from her rep read. “She is taking some personal time with friends and family. She will be ready for the Olympics and is excited to play in front of her home fans.”