Serena Williams withdraws from French Open ahead of Maria Sharapova match

Serena Williams reacts

Serena Williams has pulled out of her French Open clash with Maria Sharapova due to injury.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner was due to mean her old Russian adversary in the last 16 at Roland Garros, but made a late decision to withdraw with an arm injury.

It’s the first time that Williams, currently ranked world number 451, has withdrawn from a Grand Slam mid-tournament.

“Unfortunately I have been having some problems with my pectoral muscles and it is getting worse. Right now I cannot physically serve.

“I am beyond disappointed. I gave up so much – time with my daughter and family – to get time on the court. It is really difficult to be in this situation.”

Asked about Wimbledon next month, Williams said: “I am going to get an MRI tomorrow. I am going to stay here and see doctors. I won’t ask that until I get those results.”

Sharapova will now go straight through to the quarter-finals, where she will face either Garbine Muguruza or Lesia Tsurenko.