In the Roland Garros interview room, Serena Williams announced Monday that she has withdrawn from the French Open, citing a pectoral muscle injury. She mentioned the injury is preventing her from physically serving. The issue flared up in her previous match Saturday versus Julia Goerges, which she won 6-3 ,6-4.
Serena and sister Venus Williams lost in doubles Sunday in the third round to Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Williams will get a scheduled MRI on Tuesday.
“I’m beyond disappointed,” Williams said. “You know, I gave up so much, from time with my daughter to time with my family. I put everything on the court, you know. All for this moment. So it’s really difficult to be in this situation, but I always, for now in my life, I just always try to think positive and just think of the bigger picture and hopefully the next events and the rest of the year.”
Williams was set to face Maria Sharapova in the Round of 16 for their 22nd meeting. Williams has won a total of 19 (18 in a row) over the Russian, the most recent being the Australian Open quarterfinals in 2016.
Both athletes have been out for some time, for different reasons of course, and Roland Garros is their first Grand Slam since returning. Williams has not played a Grand Slam since January 2017 at the Australian, where she was expecting her first child.
After birth, some complications prevented Williams from returning as early as she would’ve liked. As for Sharapova, she had to serve a 15-month doping suspension and returned to tennis in April 2017.
Williams, with 23 Grand Slams, is just one Grand Slam win away from tying and two wins away from having the most Grand Slam singles titles of all time. The record is currently held by Margaret Court, who has 24.
The biggest anticipation is awaiting the results of the MRI and what shall happen for the remaining two Grand Slams of the year. Wimbledon begins July 2 and the US Open begins August 27.