Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Serena Williams Pulls Out of French Open Before Maria Sharapova Match

Serena Williams Pulls Out of French Open Before Maria Sharapova Match

Serena Williams has pulled out of the French Open with injury, shortly before a much anticipated fourth-round showdown with Maria Sharapova.

She first felt a problem with her right pectoral muscle in her third-round match against Julia Gorges last Saturday and revealed yesterday that she could not serve.

"It's very hard because I love playing Maria", Williams added after being denied a chance to add to her three French Open crowns and possibly equal Margaret Court's all-time record 24 grand slam singles titles in Paris.

With an 18-match winning streak against twice French champion Sharapova in her favor, Williams said she was "beyond disappointed" not to be able to play on Monday. It was also her first Grand Slam event since having a baby in September. "You know, I gave up so much, from time with my daughter to time with my family".

It's been 14 years since Sharapova won against Williams and it has been 10 years since Sharapova took a set against Serena. "I've never had this injury before, I've never felt it in my life and it was so painful".

But Australia's tennis super-mum is still backing the American to add to her record grand slam tally, despite her French Open setback.

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"I'm going to continue to get better". I thought it was a ideal opportunity to see how I was. Though she was playing excellent, it took a lot to get the point she's at now.

Despite being uncertain about the severity of the setback, Williams is optimistic that she will return in the near future. "But this is a little different, and, yeah, I'm clueless as to what to do", she said. That's when I started to feel it.

The Russian has not beaten her rival since 2004, the year she claimed her only two career wins over Williams, one of which came in the Wimbledon final. I've made every sacrifice I could. "Her game matches so well against mine". The victory advances Sharpaova to the quarterfinals. "Yeah, it's very hard, because I love playing Maria".

"I made a promise that if I'm not at least 60 percent or 50 percent, then I probably shouldn't play", she added.

Sharapova, the champion in Paris in 2012 and 2014, goes on to play a first quarter-final at the Slams since losing to Williams at the same stage at the 2016 Australian Open.

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