French Open: Serena withdraws from the tournament

Serena William’s search for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title will extend into another year. An Achilles tendon injury forced her to withdraw from the French Open on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old was due to play Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round. However, after a warm-up, she decided that the injury was too severe.

“I warmed up and it was a very short warm-up and then I spoke to my coach and said ‘what do you think?’” she said. “I was struggling to walk so that’s a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover.

“I adore the clay. I really wanted to give an effort. It is my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to heal after the US Open. An Achilles injury is a real injury you don’t want to play with as it can get worse and I don’t want to get to that,” she said.

Serena said she was yet to decide whether she would play again this season, saying she needed two weeks of complete rest.

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