Insufficiently recovered from her Achilles tendon injury, the American with 23 Grand Slam titles forfeited before her match in the second round.
American Serena Williams, 9th in the world, forfeited injury Wednesday before her second round at Roland Garros, leaving Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova (157th) to pass without playing in the third round. “It’s my Achilles tendon that didn’t have time to heal after the US Open,” the younger Williams sisters, 39, told a press conference.
In Flushing Meadows, the American was beaten in the semi-final by the returning Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, a match in which she was hit in the Achilles tendon. She then forfeited the tournament in Rome, contenting herself to prepare in France with her trainer Patrick Mouratoglou for Roland-Garros. “I’m not 100% physically, but I don’t know any athlete who feels in perfect physical shape,” she explained before the start of the French Open.
“A real wound”
“The Achilles tendon is a real injury that you don’t want to play with, because it’s not good if it gets worse. I didn’t want to come to this, while I still have a chance that it will heal, ”she added. “I need four to six weeks, at least two weeks to do nothing,” said the American who remained on a third round elimination last year.
She had already withdrawn from Roland-Garros before her round of 16 in 2018, and had missed the 2017 edition due to pregnancy.
Serena Williams, who is desperately trying to win a 24th Grand Slam title to equal Margaret Court’s record, was playing her 18th Roland Garros. Only her sister Venus (40) did better with 23 participations, but she has not gone beyond the round of 16 since 2006 (quarter).
The younger of the Williams sisters has won Roland Garros three times (2002, 2013 and 2015) since her debut on Parisian clay in 1998.
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