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 fails to back up epic Antwerp win as he bows out in second round to Diego Schwartzman
The Scot was unable to take advantage of an early lead.
WATCH: Emma Raducanu ‘very excited’ about Upper Austria Ladies Linz as she releases new video
The 18-year-old pulled out of this week’s VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
WATCH: Serena Williams and Venus Williams joined by Will Smith as they reveal new King Richard trailer, and song by Beyonce
Grab the popcorn for the new King Richard trailer.
Andy Murray not a fan of changes to Wimbledon mixed doubles schedule as he suggests further tweaks
Andy Murray believes changes will have a knock on-effect on quality of the field.
Flavia Pennetta on Emma Raducanu winning US Open as a qualifier: ‘In my day it would never have happened’
“In my opinion it is not good for tennis,” says Flavia Pennetta.
Cameron Norrie on Emma Raducanu’s ‘utterly incredible’ US Open win: ‘It will inspire the next generation’
“It’s huge for British tennis,” says Cameron Norrie.
Officials at odds over whether or not rules should be tweaked to allow Novak Djokovic to compete at Australian Open
Should rules change to allow Novak Djokovic to compete?
‘That’s why I play this game,’ says Frances Tiafoe as he also salutes ‘true inspiration’ Andy Murray
Frances Tiafoe is “still hurting” after Antwerp clash, but he took time out to pay tribute to Andy Murray.
Andrey Rublev set for vaccine U-turn after officials confirm players need to be vaccinated for Australian Open
“I’ll get vaccinated,” says Andrey Rublev.
Cameron Norrie reveals his parents were walking the dogs during Indian Wells final, but ‘were in tears’ after win
Cameron Norrie on his nervous parents and reaping the benefits.