Quadruple gold medalist Serena Williams indicated at Wimbledon on Sunday that she would not compete in the Tokyo Olympics next month.
“I’m actually not on the Olympic list,” she said. “If so, then I shouldn’t be on it.”
The decision was not unexpected. Williams had expressed his reluctance to play in Tokyo in part because of travel restrictions that could have prevented him from taking his daughter, Olympia, with her to the Games.
“I wouldn’t be able to go function without my 3-year-old,” Williams said earlier this season. “I think I would be depressed. We have been together every day of his life.
Olympic officials have not publicly clarified what exceptions could be made for athletes who wish to come to Tokyo with their children. It was not clear on Sunday whether this was the deciding factor for Williams, who is 39 and will play at Wimbledon for the 20th time.
“There are many reasons why I made my Olympic decision,” she told a press conference. “I don’t want to go in today. Maybe another day. Sorry.”
Williams was one of the most successful Olympians in tennis, winning doubles gold with her sister Venus in 2000, 2008 and 2012. She also won the singles at the 2012 Olympics in London, where the The tennis event took place on the same lawn. courts like Wimbledon.
His London singles victory was perhaps the most dominant performance of his career. She didn’t come close to losing a set in six matches and crushed four players who had been ranked No.1: Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and, in the final, Maria Sharapova.
Williams, who missed the 2004 Olympics with injury, was asked on Sunday if it would be difficult for him to miss the Games.
“In the past it was a wonderful place for me,” she said. “I really didn’t think about it, so I’m going to continue not to think about it.”
The top four Americans in the singles standings are eligible to compete in Tokyo. Sofia Kenin, Jennifer Brady and Coco Gauff, 17, have all confirmed their intention to participate. Williams’ decision opens a window for Jessica Pegula.