10 Jan 2012

Venus Williams pulls out of Australian Open

1:42 pm on 10 January 2012

Seven-times grand slam winner Venus Williams has withdrawn from this month's Australian Open.

Williams says she is not ready to return to action after being sidelined because of health reasons.

The American has not played competitively since withdrawing from the US Open in September ahead of a second round match.

She has been receiving treatment for Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

The five-times Wimbledon champion said she is targeting a return to action in February.

The Australian Open starts on 16 January.