Serena Withdraws From French Open, Citing Injury

Serena Williams at the 2018 US open. Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock (9843918cw)

After enjoying an impressive 7-6(2) 6-0 victory over Kristie Ahn in the first round of the French Open, three-time champion Serena Williams withdrew from the competition due to suffering an Achilles injury. This sees her would-be opponent Tsvetana Pironkova progress to the third round by default.

Williams had the following to say in her follow-up press conference: “I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing. I have been struggling to walk so that’s a telltale sign that I should try to recover. Achilles is an injury you don’t want to play with – I think it was one of the worst, don’t want to get to that point, I want it to get better.”

Williams initially picked up this injury during her US Open semi-final clash with Victoria Azarenka earlier this month. While initially a minor infraction, the injury gradually worsened until Williams could not continue to participate on the court.

Prior to her withdrawal, Williams was aiming to secure her 24th Grand Slam singles title, thereby equaling the all-time record held by Margaret Court. The unseeded Pironkova, on the other hand, will progress to the third round of the French Open for only the third time in her career.