Serena Williams Withdraws from 2018 French Open Due to Pectoral Injury

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 3: Serena Williams of USA during Day 8 of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros stadium on June 3, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2018 French Open due to a pectoral injury.

The American was set to meet Maria Sharapova in the fourth round on Monday but will play no further part at Roland Garros this year, per Mary Carillo on the Tennis Channel:

TENNIS.com @Tennis

BREAKING NEWS: Serena Williams has pulled out of her fourth-round match with Maria Sharapova due to an arm injury. Stay tuned for more information as news develops, and a report fro #RolandGarros. Confirmed by Mary Carillo on @TennisChannel

Williams explained the situation and expressed her immense disappointment, per the French Open's Twitter feed:

"I unfortunately [have] been having some issues with my pec muscle. ... Right now I can't actually serve, so it's actually hard to play when I can't physically serve. In my doubles yesterday, I tried a lot of different tapings and support. It didn't get a lot better.

"I'm beyond disappointed. I gave up so much from time with my daughter and time with my family all for this moment. So it's really difficult to be in this situation. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to see how I was going. Every match has been getting better; physically I've been great. I can only take solace in the fact that I'm going to get better.

"It's very difficult because I love playing Maria. It's a match I always get up for. It's extremely disappointing, but I made a promise to myself that if I'm not at least 50 per cent, I shouldn't play. I've never felt this in my life. This is so painful. I've pretty much had every injury in the book [but not this]."

Per the Times' Stuart Fraser, she also confirmed she will undergo an MRI to assess the scale of the problem:

Stuart Fraser @stu_fraser

Serena: "I'm going to get an MRI tomorrow. I won't know that [if she will be fit for the grass season] until I get those results."

Sharapova gets a walkover as a result of Serena's withdrawal and will face either third seed Garbine Muguruza or Lesia Tsurenko in the last eight.

Williams, 36, was playing in her first Grand Slam since the birth of her daughter in September last year.

Unseeded, she had seen off Kristyna Pliskova, Ashleigh Barty and Julia Goerges to reach the last 16, and her clash with Sharapova was one of the most anticipated of the tournament so far.

However, the 23-time Grand Slam winner will now have to focus on making a recovery in time for the start of the grass-court season.

Williams is a seven-time winner at Wimbledon and will be well-fancied to claim an eighth title in SW19 if she is fit again by the beginning of July.