Serena Williams withdraws from French Open with Achilles injury

Serena Williams abruptly withdrew from the French Open on Wednesday morning.

Williams made the decision before her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova, citing an Achilles injury she suffered in her US Open semifinal defeat against Victoria Azarenka.

“I love playing in Paris. I actually adore the clay, it is so fun for me. I really wanted to give an effort here,” Williams, who was vying for her 24th grand slam title at Roland Garros over these next two weeks, said.

“So, it is my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to properly heal after the Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but looking at it long-term, will I be able to get it through enough matches… And so for me I don’t think I could. I am struggling to walk, so that’s a tell-tell sign I should try and recover.”

Williams, 39, had previously pulled out of the Italian Open before heading to Paris, where she defeated American Kristie Ahn, 7-6. 6-0 in the first round.