Serena Williams on Wednesday quit of the French Open, with the former champion blaming an existing Achilles tendon injury that left her barely able to walk after her first match this week.

“My Achilles (from the US Open) did not have enough time to properly heal,” the 39-year-old she quit  shortly before her second-round match with Tsvetana Pironkova.

“I discussed it with my coach after warm-up this morning and we decided it was best not to play.

“I wanted to think I could get through matches but I was struggling to walk – that was a telltale sign that I need to recover.”

Williams found her years-long quest for a record 24th Grand Slam singles title again put on hold.

She won her last Grand Slam in Australia, 2017, and has since lost four finals at the majors; she began here with a hard-fought defeat of American Kristie Ahn.

Williams said she has been advised to take at least two weeks off of her feet and then attempt light training.

“In the second set of that first-round match, I felt like I needed to concentrate on walking straight and not limp.

“I realised that it was not the best idea to try and play today.

“The Achilles is an injury you don’t want to play with – it gets worse, it’s one of the worst.

“I want to have a chance to get better.”

Williams said that Paris was likely her last event of the season though she did not rule anything out for the remainder of 2020.


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