Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open on Monday with an injury she said makes it impossible to serve.
“I unfortunately have been having some issues with my pec muscle and unfortunately it’s been getting worse to the point where right now I can’t actually serve. It’s kind of hard to play when I can’t physically serve,” Williams said.
Williams made the announcement about an hour before she was set to play Maria Sharapova, the No. 28 seed, at Roland Garros on Monday.
Williams has never withdrawn from a singles major, and this is her first walkover loss in Grand Slam play.
Williams had won 18 consecutive matches head-to-head with Sharapova and was 19-2 all-time in the matchup.
She defeated No. 11 seed Julia Gorges in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 in advancing to the Round of 16, but said she began to feel the right pectoral injury during that match.
While she didn’t rule out playing at Wimbledon, Williams said her status will hinge on a medical exam to determine the extent of her injury. Williams is scheduled to see a specialist in Paris on Tuesday and is awaiting results of an MRI exam.
“I’m clueless as to what to do,” she said.
Williams, 36, made her return to the French Open last week in her first Grand Slam competition since giving birth to a daughter last September.
–Field Level Media