10 Jan 2012

Venus Williams pulls out of Australian Open

3:15 pm on 10 January 2012

The seven-times grand slam tennis winner Venus Williams has withdrawn from this month's Australian Open saying she is not ready to return to action after being sidelined because of health reasons.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 U.S. Open in September ahead of a second round match and has been receiving treatment for Sjogren's syndrome, an auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint soreness.

Williams also withdrew from last week's ASB Classic in Auckland citing health reasons.

The five-times Wimbledon champion said she is targeting a return to action next month.