The 42-year-old American had accepted a wildcard to compete in the opening Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park, a tournament she first played in 1998 and in which she is a two-time finalist, losing both times to sister Serena.
“Venus Williams has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to an injury sustained at the ASB (Auckland) Classic in New Zealand,” the Australian Open tweeted late Saturday.
Australia’s Kim Birrell will take her place.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams produced a vintage performance in the opening round at Auckland last week, beating fellow American Katie Volynets 7-6 (7/4), 6-2. But she exited in the last 16 to China’s Zhu Lin.
The Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 16, will also be without men’s world number one Carlos Alcaraz who pulled out on Friday with a right leg injury.