Serena Williams, who turned 39 this week, ended her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title and withdrew from the French Open before her second-round match Wednesday because of an injured Achilles heel. “Struggling to walk,” Serena said of the injury. She hurt herself during her semifinal loss at the U.S. Open three weeks ago. It was in the third set of that match during her semi-final loss to Victoria Azarenka at the US Open that Williams stretched her Achilles. Now she said she hasn’t had “enough time to properly heal” and needs “four to six weeks of sitting, doing nothing.”She also said it is “more than likely” she will not play another tournament in 2020.
This is Williams’ earliest exit at any Grand Slam tournament since a second-round loss in Paris in 2014. She also pulled out of the French Open in 2018 prior to what would have been a fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova, citing a pulled muscle in her chest. “I love playing tennis, obviously. I love competing. And I love being out here. It’s my job; been my job. And I’m pretty good at it still,” Williams said. The next major event on the tennis calendar is months away … with the Australian Open set to begin on Jan. 18.