Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11.53 30 Sep 2020


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Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of her second-round match at Roland-Garros.

The three-time champion in Paris was due to face Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday in the second round but Williams has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to an Achilles injury.

The 39-year-old went for her warm-up on Wednesday morning but realised soon enough that she would not be able to compete.

"After I warmed up - it was a very short warm-up - I talked to my coach and I was like, 'What do you think?'," she said.

"I love playing in Paris, I really wanted to give an effort here. My Achilles didn't have time to properly heal.

"I'm struggling to walk so that's kind of a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover."

"We both thought about it and we really realised that it likely wasn't the best for me to play today.

Williams was aiming to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

She added: "I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing.

"I have been struggling to walk so that's a telltale sign that I should try to recover.

"Achilles is an injury you don't want to play with - I think it was one of the worst, don't want to get to that point, I want it to get better."

Williams sustained the injury during her US Open semi-final defeat to Victoria Azarenka earlier this month.

The former world number one saw off fellow American Kristie Ahn in straight sets on Monday in the first round but admitted that it was a struggle physically.

"In the second set I felt I needed to walk with a limp. I had to focus on walking straight so I wasn't limping. I tried and always give 100%, I take solace in that.

"I'm not sure I will play another tournament this year. It is not an acute injury, it is a nagging injury. I ran into bad timing and bad luck really."


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