Sixth-seeded Serena Williams’s bid for a 24th Slam at the French Open came to end today. The 39-year-old withdrew ahead of her second round clash against Tsvetana Pironkova due to an ongoing issue with her achilles she first injured in her US Open semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka.
“I really wanted to give an effort here. It’s my achilles that didn’t have enough to properly heal after the Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long-term in this tournament, will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don’t think I could.
“Struggling to walk so that’s a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover”
“I warmed up and it was a very short warm-up. I talked to my coach and I was like, what do you think? What are your thoughts with this? We both thought about it and we really realized that more than likely it wasn’t the best to try and play today.”
It’s the second time in three years Serena has withdrawn from the tournament she has won three times. In 2018, she withdrew just before her fourth round clash with Maria Sharapova because of a pectoral injury.
“I feel like my body is willing,” Serena said. “This is not a nagging injury, this is an acute injury. So if it was my knee that would be more really devastating for me. But this is something that just happened and it’s super acute and that’s totally different. I feel like my body is doing really really well and I just ran into, for lack of a better word, bad timing and bad luck, really, in New York. It happened, but my body is actually doing really, really well.”
With the WTA fall schedule all but scraped, Serena likely won’t be back on court until Australia in January.
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