Serena Williams, citing an Achilles injury that hasn't had enough time to heal, withdrew from the French Open on Wednesday.
Williams said her Achilles did not properly recover following the U.S. Open, where the 39-year-old lost in the semifinals to Victoria Azarenka almost three weeks ago. Williams took a medical timeout during the third set of that match for a tape job on her Achilles; she also bowed out of the Italian Open, which was played beginning on Sept. 14.
"I was able to get it somewhat better. Just looking long term, in this tournament, will I be able to get through enough matches?" she told reporters. "So for me, I don't think I could (have). (I'm) struggling to walk, so that's kind of a tell-tale sign I should try to recover."
That doesn't make it any less disappointing for Williams, who has won three of her 23 grand slam titles at Roland Garros. She defeated fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 in the first round Monday and was scheduled to play Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in Round 2.
Serena Williams (USA) reacts during her match against Kristie Ahn (USA) on day two of the 2020 French Open at Stade Roland Garros. (Photo: Susan Mullane, USA TODAY Sports)
“I really wanted to give an effort here. (I’m) struggling to walk so that’s a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover”
Get well soon, Serena!#RolandGarrospic.twitter.com/PekxZ4tSzj
"I love playing in Paris. I actually adore the clay. It's so, I don't know, fun for me," she said. "I really wanted to give an effort here."
Williams said that the injury will require roughly two weeks of rest and that she likely won't take the court again for at least a month, adding that her 2020 season might be over.
Contributing: Associated Press
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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