Time is catching up with Venus Williams, but world number one Serena sees no reason why her sister would not return for the 2017 Australian Open.
Venus bowed out at the first hurdle on Tuesday, the 35-year-old shocked 6-4 6-2 by Johanna Konta.
The American eighth seed was nowhere to be seen afterwards, with the 35-year-old fined $5,000 for not attending her mandatory post-match media conference.
Serena was asked about her sibling and whether the seven-time grand slam winner would be back next year, and the defending Australian Open champion told reporters on Wednesday: "From what I assume, yes, but I don't really know. I would assume.
"She's never mentioned anything about not being here and not competing."
Serena, who advanced to the third round at Melbourne Park thanks to a straight-sets win over Hsieh Su-wei, was further pressed on why the former world number avoided the media 24 hours earlier.
"I don't know. If you want to, you can ask her. I don't know. I wasn't here," she added.