Former champion not physically ready

Updated: January 12, 2004, 11:56 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- Mary Pierce pulled out of the Australian Open, a tournament she won in 1995.

The French tennis federation said Monday that Pierce won't compete in Melbourne because she is not physically ready.

Pierce, 28, helped France beat the United States in the Fed Cup in November. In addition to her Australian title, Pierce also owns a Grand Slam title from the 2000 French Open.

The Australian Open starts Jan. 19. The defending champion, Serena Williams, withdrew Friday, saying she is not yet fully recovered from Aug. 1 left knee surgery.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press