Serena Williams withdraws from French Open ahead of Maria Sharapova match

Serena Williams withdraws from French Open ahead of Maria Sharapova match

"I gave up so much to time with my daughter and my family and put everything on court for this moment", she said.

"It's very hard, because I love playing Maria", said Williams.

Serena Williams has pulled out of her fourth-round match at the French Open against Maria Sharapova because of a pectoral muscle injury that won't allow her to serve, she announced Monday, reports ESPN.

Despite her well-documented fall-outs with Sharapova, Williams insisted she had been looking forward to the match.

The 23-time grand slam victor had played herself into form through three rounds in her grand slam comeback, but she took to the main interview room Monday to announce her withdrawal just minutes before the match was about to begin on the Philippe-Chatrier court in Paris.

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will go head to head across the net again on Monday, renewing their longtime association as opponents.

The 31-year-old Russian, a two-time victor at Roland Garros, will play 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza. Sharapova was the defending champion, and fought bravely for much of the match, but could not do enough to stop Williams securing victory at a time when she was at the absolute peak of her powers.

Williams said she would have to wait to find out the extent of the injury before deciding whether she can play at Wimbledon.

The match between Williams and Sharapova had been highly anticipated.

If she is ready to compete by the All-England Club, Serena can look at the 2018 French Open as a success.

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Sharapova has dropped one set at this year's French Open.

"It's just a match I always get up for".

Serena replied, "I honestly don't have any thoughts about that".

"I have cried in the locker room many times after a loss, and that's what I have seen a lot of people do", Williams said, according to the BBC.

The two tennis superstars have not met since the 2016 Australian Open when Sharapova tested positive for the drug meldonium and banned for 15 months.

The withdrawal of Williams from the competition means Sharapova now advances to the quarterfinals for a ninth time.

The US superstar will have an MRI scan on Tuesday. I don't play anyone different.

"Quite frankly, she's probably a favourite in this match, for sure". I have done a lot of fighting, and this is just the beginning.

"It's hard", she said, per Reem Abulleil. "Physically I'm doing great", she said. "To be perfectly honest with you, I don't want to be here".

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