Serena Williams Withdraws From French Open With A Fierce Message

The 23-time Grand Slam tournament champion was scheduled to play Maria Sharapova on Monday.

The comeback will have to wait.

Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open Monday with a pectoral injury, shortly before she was to play her round-of-16 match against Maria Sharapova.

“I unfortunately [have] been having some issues with my pec muscle,” she said at a press conference. “Right now I can’t actually serve, so it’s kinda hard to play when I can’t physically serve.” She said the issue emerged in her previous singles match and she would have an MRI on Tuesday in Paris.

The match against Sharapova had extra intrigue because the two players had not faced each other since Sharapova served a 15-month doping ban.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam tournament champion, was playing in her first such tournament since she won the Australian Open in early 2017 while pregnant. She gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September and had mounted a comeback in what she called her “Wakanda-inspired catsuit” at Roland-Garros.

She dedicated the outfit, designed to prevent blood clots, to mothers who had difficult pregnancies. She endured near-deadly complications after her delivery.

Williams had some parting words for followers online: “You always live to fight for another chance. I’ve done a lot of fighting and this is just the beginning. ”

Williams is on the board of advisers to Oath, HuffPost’s parent company.

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