Serena withdraws from French Open

Williams had been managing Achilles since US Open

By Emma Thurston

Last Updated: 30/09/20 11:48am

The 23-time Grand Slam champion will take no further part in the tournament

The 23-time Grand Slam champion will take no further part in the tournament

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova due to an Achilles injury.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion was scheduled to meet Pironkova on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Wednesday morning but pulled out ahead of the contest.

Williams went into the tournament managing an Achilles problem that she sustained at the US Open and was not been able to recover sufficiently after her 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 first-round victory over Kristie Ahn.

The 39-year-old took to court for her warm-up however quickly realised 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.

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

“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.”

The 39-year-old will now take two weeks of complete rest before starting light training again

The 39-year-old will now take two weeks of complete rest before starting light training again

The 39-year-old will now take two weeks of complete rest before starting light training again

Williams, with her sights still set on a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title, said that she didn’t feel she would be able to get through enough matches in Paris.

Now, she anticipates that her rehabilitation time will be around four to six weeks, starting with at least two weeks of complete rest.

“I’m definitely going to take that first two weeks of doing nothing and then I will start doing a little training,” she said.

“Doing the math on that, I don’t know if I’ll be able to play another tournament this year.

“I’m going to take the initial two weeks and then start from there…. it will give me a lot of time to fully recover for the future.”

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