Three-time French Open champion Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament on Wednesday due to a long-term injury to Achilles.
She made the announcement shortly before her match from the second round against Tsvetana Pironkova.
“I really wanted to make an effort here. This is my Achilles, who didn’t have enough time to heal properly after [US] “Open,” Williams told a news conference. I managed to make it a little better, but just by looking at this tournament in the long run – will I be able to get through enough matches? I don’t think I could. I’m struggling to walk, so it’s kind of a telltale sign that I should try to recover. “
Williams, 39, said she made the decision to retire after trying to prepare for Wednesday̵
She said she believed she would need two weeks off and four to six weeks to recover. She said she would “more than likely” not play another tournament this year.
Williams initially suffered an injury during his semi-final loss to Victoria Azarenka at the US Open earlier this month and withdrew from the Italian Open shortly thereafter. She called the injury “a bad moment and bad luck” on Wednesday.
The exit extends the Grand Slam drought for the 23-time grand champion, who has been striving to reach Margaret Court’s record of 24 years since winning the 2017 Australian Open.
This is the second time Williams has retired from a Grand Slam tournament in his career. She withdrew from the French Open in 2018 – her first Grand Slam tournament since the birth of her daughter – before her fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova.
Pironkova, who received a wild card in the event, advanced to the third round through a walkcover. She reached the quarterfinals of the US Open, her first tournament in more than three years after giving birth, before losing to Williams in three sets.