Serena withdraws due to injury
(Agence France-Presse) - October 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Serena Williams withdrew from Roland Garros on Wednesday as the American’s bid for a 24th Grand Slam title suffered another blow.

The 39-year-old three-time champion in Paris had arrived at the tournament carrying an Achilles tendon injury.

She had been due to face Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round later Wednesday.

“The Achilles didn’t have enough time to heal after the US Open,” said Williams. “I was struggling to walk and that is a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover.”

The injury likely means she will miss the rest of 2020 leaving the Australian Open in 2021 as her next chance to equal Margaret Court’s all-time majors record.

“I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing. It’s more than likely that I won’t play another tournament this year,” she said.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic was described as a “snake killing its prey” by vanquished Roland Garros opponent Mikael Ymer as the world number one’s bid to become the first man in half a century to win all four Grand Slam titles twice got off to a convincing start Tuesday.

Djokovic eased to a 6-0, 6-2, 6-3 victory, reaching the second round in Paris for a record-equalling 16th time. It was also his 32nd win in 33 matches in 2020, his only loss coming when he was defaulted from the US Open.

“It felt like when a snake kills its prey,” was the blunt verdict of 23-year-old Ymer.           

SERENA WILLIAMS
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