Serena Williams says she's not going to Tokyo Olympics

Serena Williams says she will not be playing at this summer's Olympics.

The American, who has won four gold medals in tennis, the most recent in women's singles in 2012, said she decided not to go to Tokyo for a variety of reasons.

"I'm actually not on the Olympic list, not that I'm aware of," Williams told reporters at Wimbledon on Sunday. "If so, then I shouldn't be on it."

Williams, 39, won gold in the London Games, beating Maria Sharapova in the final, and won in doubles in Sydney in 2000, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012 with sister Venus Williams.

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

"I have not thought about it. In the past [the Olympics] has been a wonderful place for me. I really haven't thought about it, so I'm going to keep not thinking about it."

"Ultimately, the decision to participate in the Games is an individual one, and as we emerge from the pandemic, we recognize and respect the personal decisions made by our top athletes regarding participation in the Tokyo Games," U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier told the Associated Press. "Although we fully support the IOC and the [International Tennis Federation], and have encouraged our athletes to participate, we recognize the fact that in this unique time, some athletes may choose not to participate for personal reasons."

Williams begins her quest for an eighth Wimbledon title and a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title when she plays Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus on Tuesday.

The withdrawal of Naomi Osaka for mental health reasons and 2019 champion Simona Halep because of injury has further opened the draw for this year's event.

But Williams, seeded sixth for this year's Championships, said she will be taking nothing for granted.

"I think that the women's draw is so deep, regardless who you play," she said. "You really have to show up now.

"There's no longer matches that are going to be a sure walk-through. You just have to really have your head in, have your game on."