Serena Williams will not be travelling to Tokyo for the Olympic Games, the 23-times Grand Slam singles tennis champion said on Sunday (June 27) without giving the reasons behind her decision.
American Williams, who will turn 40 in September, won the singles title at the London Olympics in 2012 and she has also picked up three gold medals in doubles with sister Venus – in Sydney (2000), Beijing (2008) and London.
There are persistent worries among the general public and medical experts in Japan that the world’s largest sporting event, which was delayed for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could trigger a new wave of infections.
Organisers have barred family members of athletes from attending the Games due to safety protocols, while foreign spectators are also excluded and domestic crowds will be allowed in restricted numbers.
The restrictions on international arrivals would have separated Williams from her daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born in 2017.
(Production: Oliver Regan)