Serena Williams forced out of French Open by achilles heel injury

Serena Williams pulled out of the French Open on Wednesday, just moments before she was due to go on court in the second round against the Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.

The American said she has been ordered to rest an achilles injury that has worsened since the US Open, and immediately made it plain that equalling Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors is what will drive her in her 40th year.

Marooned on 23 majors since winning in Melbourne three years ago, Williams said there would be: “Just two weeks of sitting down and doing nothing and, after that, I’ve been told I need to do a little training. But, doing the math on that, more than likely – I don’t know if I’ll be able play another tournament this year. It will mean a lot of time to fully recover for the future.”

She added: “I feel like my body is willing. This is not a nagging injury. This is an acute injury. If it was my knee, that would be more devastating for me, but this is something that just happened, and it’s super acute. That’s totally different.

“So, I think my body is doing really, really well. I just ran into, for lack of a better word, bad timing and bad luck, really, in New York. It happened but my body is doing really well. And I can never do too much sitting because I’ve been working for over twenty-something years.

“I love playing tennis. I love competing and I love being out here. It’s my job – and I’m pretty good at it still. So, until I feel like I’m not good at it, I’ll be OK. And I’m so close to some things. Like, I’m almost there. That’s what keeps me going.”

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