Paris: Saying she is ‘struggling to walk’, Serena Williams ended her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title. Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open before her second-round match Wednesday because of an injured Achilles heel. Serena hurt herself during her semifinal loss at the US Open three weeks ago. She said she hasn’t had ‘enough time to properly heal’. She informed she needs ‘four to six weeks of sitting, doing nothing’.
The sudden announcement came roughly an hour before the 39-year-old American was supposed to meet Tsvetana Pironkova. The former World No. 1 it is ‘more than likely’ she will not play another tournament in 2020.
Serena said she tried warming up for the match but knew she wouldn’t be able to compete. She spoke to coach Patrick Mouratoglou and decided to pull out. “We kind of both thought about it and we decided it wasn’t the best for me to try and play today,” Serena said.
This is Serena’s earliest exit at any Grand Slam tournament since a second-round loss in Paris in 2014. She also pulled out of the French Open in 2018 before her fourth round match against Maria Sharapova. That time she suffered a pulled muscle in her chest.
Earlier this month in New York, she made it to the semifinals before bowing out 6-1, 3-6, 3-6 against Victoria Azarenka.
It was in the third set of that match that Serena stretched her Achilles during a point. She then leaned over, clutched at her lower left leg and asked for a trainer. She took a medical timeout for a tape job and continued to play but was unable to pull off a win.
Now the question becomes when the world will see Serena compete next. “I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing,” she said Wednesday. “At least two weeks of just sitting down.”