America’s tennis star Serena Williams has withdrew from the French Open on Wednesday ahead of her second round match with an Achilles injury.
The 39-year-old Williams, a three-time winner at Roland Garros, had arrived in Paris carrying the injury that prompted her to skip the Rome tune-up event.
“The Achilles didn’t have enough time to heal after the US Open,” said Williams, who admitted last week she was not fully fit after her run to the semi-finals in New York. “I’m struggling to walk, so that’s kind of a telltale sign that I should try to recover.”
The injury likely means she will miss the rest of 2020, leaving the Australian Open in 2021 as her next chance to equal Margaret Court’s all-time majors record.
“I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing,” she said. “It’s more than likely that I won’t play another tournament this year.”
Her decision to pull out handed Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova a walkover and left Williams searching for a first major since the last of her 23 titles in Melbourne in 2017.
“I always give 100 percent, everyone knows that. Maybe even more than 100 if that’s possible. I take solace in that,” she told reporters. “I think the Achilles is a real injury that you don’t want to play with because that is not good if it gets worse.”