Venus Williams Withdraws From Australian Open 2012

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Venus Williams of the United States returns the ball against Vesna Dolonts of Russia during Day One of the 2011 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 29, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Williams, who won the Australian Open in 2003, is currently No. 100 in the WTA rankings.

Venus Williams announced that she is withdrawing from the 2012 Australian Open on her website Monday.

I regret to announce that I am withdrawing from the 2012 Australian Open. After several months of training and treatment, I am making steady progress to top competitive form. My diet and fitness regimen have allowed me to make great strides in terms of my health and I am very close to being ready to return to WTA competition. I have every intention to return to the circuit in February.

The Australian Open, which Williams won in 2003, takes place from January 16 to January 29 in Melbourne.

The 31-year-old hasn't played competitively since the U.S. Open on Aug. 31, when she pulled out of the tournament due to issues related to Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.

Williams is currently No. 100 in the WTA rankings.

For more on Williams and the Australian Open, follow SB Nation's tennis coverage.

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