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Serena Williams Pulls Out of French Open With Pectoral Injury Before Maria Sharapova Match

A pectoral injury has forced Serena Williams to withdraw from the French Open. The tennis pro made the announcement ahead of her scheduled match against Maria Sharapova on Monday, June 4.

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“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,” Williams, 36, said during a news conference in Paris. “It’s kind of hard to play when I can’t physically serve.”

Serena Williams French Open Pectoral Injury
Serena Williams in action with sister Venus Williams during their loss against Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain in the Women’s Doubles Competition at the 2018 French Open at Stade Roland Garros in Paris on June 3rd 2018. Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

The athlete said she first noticed chest pain during a victorious match against Julia Görges on Saturday, June 2. The next day, she had trouble serving while playing doubles with her sister, Venus Williams.

“I’m beyond disappointed,” she said. “I gave up so much, from the time with my daughter and time with my family. I put everything on the court — all for this moment — so it’s really difficult to be in this situation.”

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Serena had been competing in the French Open for her first major tournament in 16 months. It was also her first since giving birth to Olympia in September. She said she plans to get an MRI exam and remains hopeful that she can play in the Wimbledon Championships, which kick off on July 2.

“The fact that I physically can’t serve at all is a good indication that maybe I should just go back to the drawing board and stay positive, and try to get better and not get it to a point where it could be a lot worse,” she said.

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Williams had defeated Sharapova, 31, in 18 consecutive matches. She said during Monday’s news conference that her decision to pull out of the French Open is “very difficult because I love playing Maria.”

Sharapova will now move into the quarterfinals.

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