The French Open is into the quarterfinals, but the biggest result on Monday at Roland Garros was no result.
Serena Williams withdrew prior to her blockbuster match with Maria Sharapova, citing a pectoral muscle pull.
“I’ve unfortunately been having issues with my pec muscle and unfortunately it’s been getting worse,” Williams told reporters. “Right now, I can’t actually serve so it’s actually hard to play when I can’t physically serve.”
Which causes one to ask: if Serena was easing her way back in, why did she play doubles also? Did she want to play mixed too?
“It didn’t start before I got here,” she said. “The first time I felt it was against [Julia] Goerges in my last match. That’s when I started to feel it. It was really painful and I didn’t know what it was…In my doubles yesterday, I tried a lot of different tapings and support to see how it would feel under match circumstances. I’m not serving that often; I’m serving once every four games…I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see how I was. It didn’t get a lot better.”
Sharapova advances to an all-former-No. 1 battle with Garbine Muguruza, who advanced when Lesia Tsurenko retired trailing 0-2 in the first set.
“I saw her hitting a shot and that she didn’t look very well, and so from that moment, I think she didn’t feel good,” Muguruza said. “It’s not beautiful. I know how it feels. I had few retirements at the beginning of the year, and it’s very tough, especially here, for sure, fourth round of French Open.”
World No. 1 Simona Halep and Angie Kerber set up another all-current-or-former-No. 1 battle when Halep beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1, and Kerber topped Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3.
“I’m trying really going out there, trying to enjoying also playing on clay,” Kerber said. “Because the last years I was always too fast, I was always overpowering my tennis. Now I’m trying to play more relaxed and trying to moving better and just looking from match to match.”
Finishing a match from Sunday, No. 14 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 7-6(5), 6-3.
“I think the slower the surface is, the better for her,” Wozniacki said. “She has very good hands and good angles and everything, so I think that suits her. I honestly didn’t think I played badly this morning. She didn’t miss one ball, and she was playing very close to the lines. I was trying what I could, but it just wasn’t enough today.”
Matches on Tuesday at Roland Garros are the quarterfinals (10) Sloane Stephens vs. (14) Kasatkina, and (13) Madison Keys vs. Yulia Putintseva.
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