'Not an easy decision' - Serena Williams not fit enough to compete at Australian Open

23-time Grand Slam champion confirms she won't be traveling to Melbourne.

Serena Williams has announced she will not play in the upcoming Australian Open due to injury.

The 40-year-old has struggled with injury and has played just eight matches since losing in the semi-finals to Naomi Osaka in Melbourne in January.

After that match she appeared to bid a tearful farewell to Rod Laver Arena, which prompted rumours she knew it was he last appearance at the venue.

That still remains to be seen, although at 40-years-old it would surprise no one if she doesn't make it back to Australia before retiring.

"Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year's Australian Open," Serena began in a statement.

"While this never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete.

"Melbourne is one of my favourite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the Australia Open every year.

"I will miss seeing the fans but am excited to return and compete at my highest level."

Serena Williams is currently tied with Margaret Court on 23 majors, meaning her quest for a record 24th major will continue to the clay of Roland Garros at least.