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Serena Williams pulls out of French Open

Serena Williams

Bengaluru, September 30: Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open ahead of her second-round tie against Tsvetana Pironkova with an Achilles injury.

The American great began her latest attempt to level Margaret Court's overall record of 24 grand slams by beating Kristie Ahn in straight sets on Monday.

However, the 39-year-old announced shortly before Wednesday's contest with Pironkova that she will play no further part at Roland Garros.

"Struggling to walk," Serena told a press conference. "I felt like I needed to walk with a limp."

Serena had suffered the problem during her semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka in the US Open and said ahead of her Roland Garros campaign that she was not at 100 per cent physically but had recovered sufficiently to play.

She spoke again of the injury after her first round win over fellow American Kristie Ahn and apparently aggravated it while practicing for her second-round match.

French Open 2020: Serena Williams set for New York repeat

Serena stated that a lack of recovery time from the US Open, has influenced her decision.

"I love playing in Paris. I actually adore the clay. It's so, sort of, I don't know, fun for me," Serena said.

"I really want to give an effort here. It's my Achilles that didn't have enough time to properly heal after the US Open.

"I was able to get it somewhat better but I was just looking long-term at this tournament and will I be able to get through enough matches?

"So, for me, I don't think I could and I'm struggling to walk, so that's kind of a tell-tale sign I should try to recover."

It is the second time that Serena is pulling out midway through clay-court Grand Slam. In 2018, the American had withdrawn just ahead of a last-16 clash with Maria Sharapova.

(With inputs from Omnisport and other Agencies)

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Story first published: Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 16:10 [IST]
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