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The American tennis superstar Serena Williams has announced she will skip the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this summer
The four-time Olympic gold medallist made the announcement at a pre-Wimbledon press conference.
The now 39-year-old athlete won singles gold in London 2012 after beating Maria Sharapova in the final. She has also won three gold medals in the double’s competition with her sister Venus in 2000, 2008, and 2012.
Williams did not go into detail about why she wouldn’t be going to the Olympics, but this may be a sign that her career is beginning to slow down. Spaniard Rafael Nadal has also told reporters that he will not travel to Tokyo this summer due to him not wanting to make any health risks.
“There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry,” Williams told reporters.
🔴Serena Williams joined fellow tennis legend Rafael Nadal on Sunday in saying she will not play at the Tokyo Olympics next month pic.twitter.com/1Pj1L09OxL
— Gabriel Hébert-Røuillier (@Gab_H_R) June 27, 2021
The tennis player has had a busy summer having already competed in the French Open and now preparing for Wimbledon.
She will begin the tournament against Belarusian player Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the first round on Tuesday.
Now, she is aiming to win a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title. Williams is one away from the record held by Australian Margaret Court.
“In the past, it’s ( the 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,” she added.
On Father’s Day, there’s still nothing better than this Nike ad of a 9-year-old @serenawilliams being taught by her dad.
— Joe Pompliano (@JoePompliano) June 20, 2021
While Williams is skipping the Olympics, Japanese player Naomi Osaka plans to return to tennis in Tokyo 2020.
Osaka left the French Open after saying that press conferences were having a bad effect on her mental health. After some backlash from the organizers of the Open, she has been given widespread praise for her decision.
The Tokyo 2020 Games will begin on July 23rd with the tennis starting the next day.