No Showdown: Injured Serena Williams Out of French Open
PARIS (AP) — Serena Williams called off her Grand Slam comeback because of a chest muscle injury on Monday, pulling out of the French Open shortly before she was supposed to play Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.
"It's extremely disappointing," Williams said during a news conference at Roland Garros. "But also, I made a promise to myself and to my coach and to my team that if I'm not at least 60 percent or 50 percent, then I probably shouldn't play."
Williams, who has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, said she can't hit serves because of a problem with her right pectoral muscle. Her voice trembled a bit as she explained that she will get an MRI exam and consult with doctors before figuring out what will happen next for her.
"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," Williams said, "and try to get better and not get it to a point where it could be a lot worse."
The 36-year-old American was competing at a major tournament for the first time in 16 months — and for the first time since giving birth to her daughter last September.
Sharapova wished Williams a speedy recovery and a rapid return to the tour in a two-sentence statement released by French Open organizers.
Williams said her chest began hurting in her third-round singles victory over 11th-seeded Julia Goerges on Saturday.
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