Why Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open

Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams announced Monday that she was forced to withdraw from her French Open match against Maria Sharapova due to injury.

In explaining the decision, Williams, a 23- time Grand Slam victor, said she had problems with her right pectoral muscle which meant she was struggling with her serve.

Williams had worked hard to get back in shape and was making her Grand Slam comeback at the French Open following the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia last September. She was unable to say whether she would be fit for Wimbledon, which begins in four weeks.

Goolagong Cawley was in the stands on Court Philippe-Chatrier with daughter Kelly eager to see how Williams' comeback was coming along before the 23-times major victor withdrew from her scheduled fourth-round showdown with Maria Sharapova on Monday night (AEST). "I try to think positive and think of the bigger picture, the next events and the rest of the year".

The round of 16-match between the Tennis greats was set to be the fourth match on Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday (local time).

The match between Williams and Sharapova had been highly anticipated. I've never felt this in my life, this is so painful.

The Belgian believes Williams can still add to her Grand Slam collection, though. In my doubles yesterday I tried lots of different tapings.

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"I'm going to stay here and see as many specialists as I can", Williams explained.

Third seed Muguruza, bidding for a second title in Paris after her 2016 triumph, was 2-0 ahead when Tsurenko pulled out with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Though she was playing excellent, it took a lot to get the point she's at now. Sharapova has won 11 of her last 13 matches on clay court.

Williams and her sister, Venus, were also playing doubles at Roland Garros, losing a three-set match on Sunday night to Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. That's when I started to feel it. "It hasn't been easy", she said.

However, her status for Wimbledon where she has been champion seven times, will only become clear once she has had an MRI.

"And I was one of the few people that, [with] her whole drug incident, I was, like, "She was courageous to say something". Its extremely disappointing but I made a promise to myself that if I'm not at least 50%, I shouldn't play".

The German, a former World No 1 and a two-time major victor, reached the quarter-finals for the second time with a 6-2, 6-3 win over France's Caroline Garcia.

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