Serena Williams withdraws from French Open after ‘struggling to walk’

Serena Williams reacts after missing a shot against Kristie Ahn in the first round match of the French Open last Monday. (AP pic)

PARIS: 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,” she said.

“It’s more than likely that I won’t play another tournament this year.”