Serena Williams has pulled out of her fourth-round match at the French Open due to a pectoral muscle injury, she announced on Monday
Williams, 36, returned to Roland Garros this year with a bang, quickly amassing a string of victories. Now, the three-time French Open champion will sit out the tournament with an injury that won’t allow her to serve.
“I’m beyond disappointed,” Williams told reporters. “I gave up so much, from time with my daughter to time with my family. I put everything on the court … So it’s really difficult to be in this situation.”
The tennis legend thanked fans for their support in an Instagram post on Monday, writing, “You always live to fight for another chance. I’ve done a lot of fighting and this is just the beginning. Thank you for the support. I love you.”
Williams said she began feeling pain in the area during her last match and will get an MRI on Tuesday, according to ESPN.
Williams was expected to face off against Sharapova, 31, in a highly-anticipated match on Monday. Although many consider the pair to be rivals, the statistics tell another story. Williams has won 19 of their 21 match-ups — including the past 18, ESPN reports.
Monday was set to be their 22nd meeting, as neither women played in the tournament last year. Williams did not compete because she was pregnant. Sharapova was denied a wild-card spot after her headline-making doping scandal, according to ESPN.
Williams also addressed rumors of a feud between her and Sharapova.
“I don’t have any negative feelings toward her,” she said.
“I fell like negativity is taught and … women should bring each other up. A lot of people always assume that I feel a different way and that’s not true. If anything, I feel like we should encourage each other and the success of one female should be the inspiration to another.”
To mark her return, Williams’ husband, tech-tycoon Alexis Ohanian, posted a sweet message on Instagram following the initial win.
Last week, Williams took to the court with her sister Venus and the sisters beat out 14th-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato in a doubles match.