Serena exits French Open before Sharapova showdown

Serena exits French Open before Sharapova showdown

The 36-year-old, playing in her first grand slam since giving birth to her daughter in September, said she had a pectoral muscle problem, which meant she could not serve.

Maternity leave means Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam victor, is now ranked 451 in the world, but this arm injury will only see her fall further down if she can't recover swiftly. "Right now I can't actually serve, so it's actually hard to play when I can't physically serve".

A visibly distraught Williams talked about having sacrificed time with her family to train and play.

"Just try to think of the bigger picture, hopefully the next event, and the rest of the year".

So, an hour before she was to face rival Maria Sharapova in arguably the most highly anticipated match of the tournament Monday - men and women combined - Williams withdrew.

Sharapova had a 2-19 record against Williams.

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The athlete said she first noticed chest pain during a victorious match against Julia Görges on Saturday, June 2.

The Belgian believes Williams can still add to her Grand Slam collection, though. Muguruza hopes to make her fourth career grand slam semifinal appearance and second in the French Open. "I felt great, I was ready to go and I was very energetic", Goolagong Cawley said.

"I have cried in the locker room many times after a loss, and that's what I have seen a lot of people do", Williams said, according to the BBC. She will give an official explanation at a press conference but early reports indicate that an arm injury is a reason for the withdrawal. Though she was playing excellent, it took a lot to get the point she's at now.

Serena Williams of the US returns a shot against Germany's Julia Georges during their third round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. "So I'm just going to do what the doctors think I should do, and get all the evaluations on it". Williams, who had never withdrawn from a major before, said that she plans on getting an MRI on Tuesday. "I've pretty much had every (other) injury in the book".

Venus Williams (USA) and Serena Williams (USA) during their doubles match against Andreja Klepac (SLO) and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) (not pictured) on day eight of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros.

With this result, Sharapova advances to the quarterfinals for a ninth time. It's disappointing for me, the fans and the tournament that it's not going to happen.

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