Serena Williams announced her shock withdrawal from the French Open through injury on Monday (Jun 4) just minutes before her scheduled fourth-round clash against long-time bitter rival and fellow Grand Slam icon Maria Sharapova.
Williams held a press conference where she explained that she was unable to serve due to an arm injury.
"Unfortunately, I've been having some issues with my peck muscle", Williams began. "After the 2004 Wimbledon match with Maria, I had the opportunity to interview Donald Trump on his L.A. gold course, and he said that Maria's shoulders were incredibly alluring and then he came up with his incredible analysis: That you were intimated by hr super-model good looks. I'm going to stay here and see some of the doctors here, see as many specialists as I can and I won't know that until I get those results", the American superstar said when asked if she still hoped to pursue an eighth Wimbledon crown next month.
"Every match has been getting better, physically I've been great". It hasn't been easy.
"I thought [doubles] was a ideal opportunity to see how I was going". "It's a match I always get up for". But the first visible clues that something was amiss surfaced in the third set of her doubles match with sister Venus on Sunday.
Could Williams have continued through the singles draw if she hadn't been moonlighting?More news: Wonder Woman 2 receives a cryptic and exciting update
More news: NCAA grants Florida State's Cofer extra year of eligibility
More news: Varanasi flyover collapse: 12 people killed, over 50 trapped under debris
Williams was targeting a 24th Grand Slam title and her first since returning from giving birth a year ago.
Sharapova famously hinted Williams was dating her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, while in an open letter posted to Reddit a year ago, Williams wrote: "It has been said that that [sic] I use drugs". "And I feel like it's going to hopefully keep going".
"And I had such a wonderful performance in my first Grand Slam back".
She shared that she had an MRI scan on Tuesday.
However, she made up for lost time by firing 18 winners past an under-cooked Pliskova, the sixth seed, in just under an hour.
The 36-year-old American, three times a victor in Paris, has lost just two of their 21 meetings and their last-16 encounter on Monday will be among the most eagerly-anticipated of the whole tournament.