Serena Williams has confirmed she will not be at next month’s Australian Open, telling fans in Twitter medical advice had ruled her out of the first Slam of the new year.

“Following the advice of my medical team, I have decided to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open. While this is not an easy decision to make I am not where I need to be physically to compete,” she wrote.

“Melbourne is one of my favourite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the AO every year.

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

Williams, 40, has not played professionally since her injury-forced retirement at Wimbledon in June.