Melbourne - Serena Williams on Wednesday said her sister Venus had given no indication that the current Australian Open could be her last and she "assumes" the 35-year-old will return next year after her shock exit.
Venus's 69th Grand Slam was abruptly ended in the first round by Britain's Johanna Konta, and she was later fined US5 000 for skipping her mandatory press conference.
"I don't know. If you want to, you can ask her. Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't here," Serena, 34, said when asked why her elder sister did not show up.
Pressed on whether Venus would be back to play another Australian Open, she replied: "From what I assume, yeah, but I don't really know.
"I would assume. She's never mentioned anything about not being here, not competing."
Both Williams sisters have been playing the opening Grand Slam of the season since 1998.