‘Beyond disappointed’: Injured Serena withdraws from French Open before Sharapova clash

Paris: Serena Williams announced her shock withdrawal from the French Open with injury on Monday just minutes before her scheduled fourth-round clash against long-time bitter rival and fellow Grand Slam icon Maria Sharapova. The 36-year-old said she had suffered a pectoral muscle injury in her third-round win over Julia Goerges and “can’t serve at all”. The 23-time Grand Slam champion added that she would stay in Paris for scans on the injury to find out how long she will be out of action.

“I unfortunately have been having some issues with my pec, my pec muscle, and (it) has unfortunately been getting worse to the point where right now I can’t actually serve. It’s kind of hard to play when I can’t physically serve,” she explained. She was unable to say whether or not she would be fit for Wimbledon which gets underway in four weeks’ time. “I’m beyond disappointed,” added three-time Roland Garros champion Williams who was playing in her first Grand Slam since winning the 2017 Australian Open while two months pregnant.