MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Defending champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open, saying she is not ready to return to tournament tennis.
Williams was pregnant with her first child when she won last year's tournament at Melbourne Park, the 23rd Grand Slam singles title of her career.
She gave birth to her daughter, Alexis, in September.
Williams played in an exhibition tournament last week in Abu Dhabi and indicated after her loss to French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko that she might not make it to Melbourne.
"After competing in Abu Dhabi I realized that although I am super close, I'm not where I personally want to be," Williams said in a statement released Friday by Australian Open organizers.
"My coach and team always said 'only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way'. I can compete - but I don't want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.
"With that being said, and even though I am disappointed about it, I've decided not to compete in the Australian Open this year."
Williams, 36, is a seven-time champion of the Australian Open and needs one more Grand Slam title to tie the all-time record held by Margaret Court.
Her withdrawal comes less than 24 hours after fellow former world No.1 Andy Murray withdrew from the men's event with a chronic hip injury.
Several other big names, including top-ranked Rafael Nadal, six-time champion Novak Djokovic and 2014 winner Stan Wawrinka, also are dealing with injuries.
WARRIORS 124, ROCKETS 114
HOUSTON (AP) — Stephen Curry had 29 points, and Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors pulled away late in the fourth quarter for a 124-114 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night.
The Warriors extended their road winning streak to nine games and have won an NBA-best 16 road games this season.
The teams stayed close through most of the game, but the Warriors had a seven-point lead with about 3 1/2 minutes left. They scored the next five points, highlighted by a 3 from Curry, to make it 120-109 and send many of the home fans streaming for the exits.
The Rockets got 30 points from Eric Gordon, and Gerald Green came off the bench to score 29 and tie a career high with eight 3-pointers as they played their second game without James Harden, who is out for at least two weeks with a hamstring strain.
The Warriors were short-handed, too, playing without Kevin Durant, who missed the game with strained right calf. But Andre Iguodala returned after sitting out Wednesday night with back and hip strains and had 10 points and eight assists.
COLLEGE MEN NO. 9 WICHITA STATE 81, HOUSTON 63
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Landry Shamet scored 18 points in just 22 minutes to lead No. 9 Wichita State past Houston 81-63 on Thursday night.
Wichita State (12-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) made nine of its first 11 3-point shots and led by as many as 25 in the first half. Starting guards Shamet and Conner Frankamp (15 points) were a combined 12 of 15 from the field.
Shaquille Morris scored 14 points for the Shockers while Markis McDuffie added 11.
Rob Gray led Houston (12-3, 2-1 American) with 13 points, six below his season average. He was 6 of 14 from the field. Corey Davis scored 12 points for the Cougars, and Wes Van Beck had 11.