Serena Williams withdraws from French Open match against Maria Sharapova with injury

Spain´s Rafael Nadal plays a backhand return to France´s Richard Gasquet during their men´s singles third round match

The 36-year-old athlete - who was supposed to play a fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova on Monday - pulled out of the tennis tournament due to a chest muscle injury, ESPN reports.

Williams said she couldn't physically serve with the pectoral injury, adding she felt the injury during her third-round singles match against Julia Goerges.

Having watched Williams surmount the rigors of pregnancy, childbirth and serious postpartum complications in the past 17 months, it's tempting to view a pectoral muscle issue as a relatively small speed bump. "And I won't know that until I get those results". "I play everyone so hard because they play me really hard and I always have to be ready for it", said Williams, whose ranking of 451 is not fooling any of her opponents. It hasn't been easy.

Sharapova did not want to delve too much into their bitter past on Saturday and instead simply concentrated on the match ahead by saying: "There is a lot of things in her game that she's done much better than I have. I'm going to continue to get better", she said. "So for me, I always get inspired by other women that are doing well".

Some have suggested that Serena shouldn't have entered the doubles competition with her sister.

Also Monday, No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki fell to No. 14 Daria Kasatkina of Russian Federation 7-6 (5), 6-3.

Sharapova, victor of the title in Paris in 2012 and 2014, will face the victor of No.3 seed Garbiñe Muguruza and Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko for a spot in the semifinals.

Dressed in the black bodysuit with a red band around the waist she resembled a superhero - not just a supermum - and was playing as if she had never been away.

While she's managed to be victorious in each of her matches, Serena looks understandably rusty on the court. She said during Monday's news conference that her decision to pull out of the French Open is "very hard because I love playing Maria".

Williams, the 23-times grand slam champion, will have an MRI scan tomorrow after the pain left her unable to serve.

"And I had such a wonderful performance in my first Grand Slam back".

There are some positives to take from all this, especially with Williams not ruling Wimbledon out just yet.

Williams then went into detail about her heartbreak at having to withdraw from this year's tournament, searching for an unprecedented 24th major title.

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