The much anticipated match between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova at the ongoing French Open has been called off with Williams calling a press conference minutes before the match on Monday to announce that she is injured and subsequently withdrawing from the competition.
Williams had on Sunday played a three-set double with her sister, Venus, which they lost 6-0, with signs that there might be some discomfort, especially when Serena was serving.
Speaking at the press conference, she said: “Unfortunately I have been having issues with my pec muscle, right now I can’t actually serve.
“The first time I felt it was against (Julia) Goerges (third round), it was really painful. In my doubles yesterday I tried lots of different tapings. It didn’t really get a lot better.
“I’m going to get an MRI tomorrow. I won’t know until I get the results. I’m beyond disappointed. I gave up so much, time with my daughter, all for this moment, so it’s really difficult to be in this situation. I always try to think positive.”
When she was asked whether it was a mistake to play in Sunday’s doubles, she replied: “I really felt like I needed to play. I wanted to try different strappings to see what’s helping. I sacrificed so much to be here.”
“It’s very difficult because I love playing Maria, it’s a match I always stood up for.”
“Her game matches so well against mine. I made every sacrifice that I could so it’s extremely disappointing. I said that if I’m not at least 50 or 60 per cent I shouldn’t play.
“I’ve never had this before, I’ve never felt this in my life, but it’s so painful and I don’t know how to manage it. I’ve had every injury in the book but this is different,” the 36 year-old American said.