Serena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open on Wednesday due to an Achilles injury. The three-time French Open Champion made the announcement before facing Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round of the tournament. Williams said while her Achilles has improved, but it's still not where it needs to be to compete.
"I really wanted to give an effort here. It's my Achilles that didn't have enough time to properly heal after the [US] Open," Willaims said at her news conference as reported by ESPN. "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? For me, I don't think I could. Struggling to walk, so that's kind of a telltale sign I should try to recover." Williams went on to say she will need to rest for two weeks and then have a least a month to recover. She then added it's "more than likely" she will not compete in another tournament this year.
Williams originally injured her Achilles at the US Open when she was taking on Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. She lost the match but didn't blame the injury for coming up short. don't think that had anything to do with it," Williams said. "Ultimately, it didn't affect my play at all." Had Williams won the match, she would have one step closer to winning her seventh US Open and her 24th major championship, which would have tied her with Margaret Court for the most of all-time.
"I mean, it's obviously disappointing. At the same time, you know, I did what I could today," Williams, who has six US Open singles trophies, said. "I feel like other times I've been close and I could have done better. Today I felt like I gave a lot." The second-round exit for Williams is the earliest since losing in the same tournament in 2014. This instance is also the second time Williams withdrew from a Grand Slam Tournament, with the first being the French Open in 2018.
Williams' last win at a Grand Slam was the 2017 Australian Open. In 2020, Williams failed to reach a Grand Slam final, which ends her consecutive years' streak at 13. According to ESPN, Chris Evert holds the record for most consecutive years reaching a major final, at 14 (1973-86).