Serena Williams has expressed her disappointment after pulling out of her round of 16 (fourth round) French Open clash against Russian star Maria Sharapova on Monday.
Williams, who was making a comeback since giving birth to her daughter in September, pulled out of the high profile clash due to injury.
Prior to her injury, Williams had seen off Kristyna Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty, and 11th seed Julia Goerges en route to the round of 16.
The three-time French Open champion and 23-time Grand Slam winner, was due to renew her bitter 14-year rivalry with Sharapova at this year’s Roland Garros.
On her part, Sharapova was looking to end her 14-year, 18-match hoodoo against Williams in a much anticipated grudge match, but now gets a walkover in the women’s draw.
Speaking at a press conference, the 36-year-old American revealed she had a pectoral muscle injury hence her withdrawal from the tournament.
“Unfortunately I’ve been having some issues with my pec muscle. Right now I can’t actually serve so it’s actually hard to play when I can’t physically serve,’ she said.
“I’m beyond disappointed. I gave up so much from time with my daughter and time with my family all for this moment. So it’s really difficult to be in this situation.
“I’m having an MRI (scan) tomorrow (Tuesday), I’m going to stay here to see the doctors and see as many specialists as I can. I won’t know (how serious the injury is) until I get those results.”
She added:”Physically I’m doing great. It hasn’t been easy. I sacrificed so much to be at this event. I’m going to continue to get better. I had such a wonderful performance in my first Grand Slam back.
Sharapova will now play the winner of the match between third-seed Garbine Muguruza in the quarter-finals.