Serena Williams admits her 2020 season could be over after latest injury setback
Serena Williams’ quest for a 24th Grand Slam singles title suffered another setback when she pulled out of the French Open with an Achilles problem.
Williams sustained the injury during her semi-final defeat at the US Open earlier this month and pulled the plug in Paris ahead of a scheduled second-round clash with Tsvetana Pironkova.
Williams said: “After I warmed up – it was a very short warm-up – I talked to my coach and I was like, ‘What do you think?’ We both thought about it and we really realised that it likely wasn’t the best for me to play today.
“I really wanted to give an effort here. (I’m) struggling to walk so that’s a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) September 30, 2020
“I love playing in Paris, I really wanted to give an effort here. My Achilles didn’t have time to properly heal. I was able to get it somewhat better but, just looking long term in this tournament, will I be able to get through enough matches? I don’t think I could.
“I’m struggling to walk so that’s kind of a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover.”
Williams estimated she needs four to six weeks to recover, which is likely to mean the end of her season.
She was sluggish during the first set of her first-round victory over Kristie Ahn but won the second set to love and there was no indication afterwards that she was considering her future in the tournament.
The 39-year-old will now focus on trying to get in peak shape for the Australian Open in January, when she will continue her pursuit of Margaret Court’s record in what should be more favourable conditions.
Williams added: “This is not a nagging injury, this is an acute injury. I feel like my body is doing really, really well and I just ran into bad timing and bad luck in New York.
“I always give 100 per cent, and everyone knows that. Maybe even more than 100 if that’s possible and I take solace in that. I think Achilles is a real injury that you don’t want to play with because that is not good if it gets worse. I think it’s one of the worst, so I don’t want it to get to that point.
“I’m so close to some things, so I feel like I’m almost there. I think that’s what keeps me going.”
Pironkova, who gave Williams a tough time in the quarter-finals in New York, will take on either Barbora Strycova or Barbora Krejcikova in the third round.
Andy Murray’s waiting game as anger mounts after tennis players fly in for Australian Open
Andy Murray is waiting to see if there is any way he compete in the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19.
Positive Covid cases on flights to Australia put 47 players in 14-day quarantine
Three people across two chartered flights carrying the Open hopefuls tested positive for coronavirus upon their arrival in Melbourne.
Bernard Tomic still has drive to compete, saying ‘I don’t need to play tennis again, I’ve got enough money’
“I’m risking my life, and I’m playing and competing.”
Dominic Thiem: ‘My wish for 2021 is to win a second Grand Slam title’
Dominic Thiem eyes a second Grand Slam trophy.
VIDEO and PICS: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams among tennis stars to arrive in Australia
This way for a video and pics of arrivals in Australia.
Official insists no special Australian Open treatment for Andy Murray after positive COVID-19 result
Andy Murray warned he won’t get preferential treatment.
Madison Keys latest player to miss Australian Open charter flight after testing positive for coronavirus
Madison Keys unlikely to play at Australian Open.
Andy Murray in race against time to play at Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19
Andy Murray tests positive for coronavirus – report.
Andy Murray Australian Open appearance in doubt after positive test for Covid
Murray is hoping to be able to arrive in Australia at a later date.
Dominic Thiem’s coach tests positive for COVID-19, but hopes to link up with Austrian ‘soon’
Nicolas Massu hopes to fly Down Under in a few weeks.