Serena Williams Unexpectedly Withdraws From French Open Due To Injury

Serena Williams of The United States reacts in her Ladies' Singles final against Simona Halep of Romania during Day twelve of The Championships - Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 13, 2019 in London, England.
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Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced she will be withdrawing from the French Open due to an Achilles injury she has been dealing with for an extended period of time.

Williams shared the unexpected news this morning, right before her match in the second round against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, according to a report from ESPN.

The four-time Olympic gold medal winner had a shot at making history if she had been able to compete in this year’s tournament. According to CBS Sports, Williams is one win away from winning 24 majors, which would tie the all-time record currently held by Margaret Court.

Williams has not won a major title since 2017, when she was crowned champion at the Australian Open.

The tennis star confessed that she had originally sustained the injury to her left Achilles tendon in a competition against Victoria Azarenka earlier in the month.

Williams has already withdrawn from one contest this year due to the pain she was experiencing, as she bowed out of participating in the competition in Italy, which just ended a week ago.

“I really wanted to give an effort here. It’s my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to properly heal after the [US] Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long term in this tournament — will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don’t think I could. Struggling to walk, so that’s kind of a telltale sign I should try to recover,” the athlete stated during a recent news conference.

The 39-year-old attempted to warm up for her match this morning but felt she was limping, which led to her decision to withdraw.

Serena Williams of The United States celebrates victory during the Ladies Singles second round match against Christina McHale of the United States on day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2016 in London, England.
  Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Williams estimated her ankle will take six to eight weeks total to fully recover, and stated she will need two weeks of rest followed by four to six weeks of physical therapy. The severity of the pain led Williams to believe she will likely refrain from competing in another tournament this year.

After the announcement this morning, it marks the second time Williams has had to stop competing due to injury. Prior to her fourth-round match against Russia’s Maria Sharapova in 2018, the star explained that she had pulled a muscle in her chest and was unable to play.

Williams also posted a picture on her Instagram and wrote she will be “out but not for long.” You can view it here.

She also used the post to thank all her supporters.