“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.”
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.”
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.
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.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!