Serena Williams: Sister Venus will also not play at US Open next month

All three Williams sisters have appeared at the US Open

Serena Williams will not defend her US Open title next month, with her sister Venus quitting the tournament as well.

Serena, 36, needed to make another comeback from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September.

The American said she was “devastated” by her decision to withdraw from the last grand slam of the year.

“I wish I could have fought through to the end,” said Serena.

Former world number one Venus, 37, suffered an autoimmune disease that necessitated treatment with blood-thinning medication.

She pulled out in December 2016 as a precaution because of concerns about infection.

“It is the hardest decision for me to make because I have such great respect for the players who compete in the Open,” said Serena.

“But, I think, it’s also a decision that is best for the greater good of my overall health.”

Last month, Serena announced that her return to tennis would take place at the WTA event in Stanford in California in early August.

Venus, twice a US Open champion, added: “I’m not completely out of the game but I am definitely slowing down.

“This has been a difficult decision for me to make because I love competing and I love playing at the highest level, but it has also been a long road to recovery.

“This time last year I was still not able to walk unassisted so it is hard for me to see myself on the court.

“My only goal right now is to get healthy and to be the best Mom I can be.”

Serena posted this picture of her baby with Venus on the cover of the magazine

Serena has not been back on court since winning the Australian Open in January. The two-time Wimbledon champion was sidelined for the rest of the year as she recovers from the baby.

Five-time Open champion Venus, who holds the Open record for most finals appearances (45), is currently ranked 30th in the world.

The US Open begins on 28 August in New York.

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