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Serena Williams announces she will not play in Tokyo Olympics

"There's a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision and I don't feel like going into them today," Williams said when asked to elaborate on her decision.
Serena Williams waves to the crowd after losing her Women's Singles fourth round match against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan at the French Open in Paris on June 6, 2021.
Serena Williams waves to the crowd after losing her Women's Singles fourth round match against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan at the French Open in Paris on June 6, 2021.Clive Brunskill / Getty Images file

Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced on Sunday that she will not be heading to the Tokyo Olympics.

"I'm actually not on the Olympic list — not that I'm aware of. And if so then I shouldn't be on it," Williams told reporters during a pre-Wimbledon press conference after being asked if she planned to participate.

Williams, who is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, did not give a reason as to why she did not plan to attend.

When asked to elaborate on why she was not playing in the Olympics — and if it had anything to do with the fact her 3-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., would not have been able to go with her due to Covid-19 restrictions — she declined to specify.

"There's a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision and I don't feel like going into them today," she said. "Maybe another day. Sorry."

In previous Summer Games, Williams won gold for the United States in both singles and doubles tennis at the 2012 London Olympics, in doubles at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Her gold medals for doubles were all shared with her older sister Venus.

Williams made the announcement the day before the start of main-draw action at the prestigious London tournament, where she will try to collect her 24th Grand Slam singles title.

Williams said she had not thought about what it would be like to sit the Olympics out this year.

“I have not thought about it. In the past, it’s been a wonderful place for me. I really haven’t thought about it, so I’m going to keep not thinking about it.”

Williams isn't the only tennis player sitting this Olympics out. Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem also said they will not attend the Olympics. Roger Federer said on Saturday he had yet to decide on whether or not he planned to go to Tokyo.

The Olympics opens on July 23 in Tokyo after being postponed due Covid-19. NBC Universal, the parent company of NBC News, owns the U.S. media rights to the upcoming Olympics.

The Associated Press contributed.