Serena Williams confirms she will not be playing at delayed Tokyo Olympics

Serena Williams is the latest big-name tennis player to announce she will not be travelling to Tokyo for the Olympics.

The 39-year-old, who has four gold medals and made her debut at the Sydney Games in 2000, had previously said she was reluctant to go because she would not be able to take three-year-old daughter Olympia with her.

Speaking at her pre-Wimbledon press conference, Williams said: “I’m actually not on the Olympic list- not that I’m aware of. If so, then I shouldn’t be on it.”

She declined to explain her reasoning, adding: “There’s a lot of reasons that I made my Olympic decision. I don’t feel like going into them today. Maybe another day. Sorry.”

Williams joins Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem in deciding not to compete in Tokyo, while Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have not yet committed to taking part.

Serena begins her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title this week - still one short of the Grand Slam record of 24, held by Margaret Court.

Serena Williams won gold at the London 2012 Games Credit: PA

Williams has not won a grand slam title since the Australian Open in 2017 but remains the biggest scalp in women’s tennis.

She said: “It’s definitely made me better. I’ve had a big X on my back since ’99, since I won the US Open. When players play me that hard every single tournament, every single match, every single grand slam, it just doesn’t matter where, you just get better.

“It’s been difficult mentally when someone might beat you and they lose directly in the next round almost every time. At the end of the day, that’s why I’m Serena.”