Serena Williams was forced to pull out of the French Open just moments before her second-round match against Bulgarian veteran Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday. Still the star was quick to insist that she is still on a mission to beat Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors.
Unfortunately for Serena, it’s still unknown if the achilles injury, which first struck at the recent US Open, will allow her to do so as she enters her 40th year, three years after winning her last major.
“Paris- I love you don’t worry I’ll be back- love you all thanks for the support,” Williams wrote on Instagram following news of her injury. “Out but not for long 💪🏿”
When discussing the injury and how she’s going to heal, Serena explained there would be: “Just two weeks of sitting down and doing nothing and, after that, I’ve been told I need to do a little training. But, doing the math on that, more than likely – I don’t know if I’ll be able play another tournament this year. It will mean a lot of time to fully recover for the future.”
She went on to say, “I feel like my body is willing. This is not a nagging injury. This is an acute injury. If it was my knee, that would be more devastating for me, but this is something that just happened, and it’s super acute. That’s totally different.”
“So, I think my body is doing really, really well. I just ran into, for lack of a better word, bad timing and bad luck in New York. It happened but my body is doing really well. And I can never do too much sitting because I’ve been working for over 20-something years,” she continued. “I love playing tennis. I love competing and I love being out here. It’s my job – and I’m pretty good at it still. So, until I feel like I’m not good at it, I’ll be OK. And I’m so close to some things. Like, I’m almost there. That’s what keeps me going.”
Williams says she suffered a recurrence of the injury in the finish to her 7-6 (2), 6-0 first-round win over Kristie Ahn, though the tennis star didn’t initially complain of an injury afterwards, when asked. But on Wednesday, she said, “In that second set, I felt like I needed to walk with a limp, and that was no good. I had to focus on just walking straight. I tried. I always give 100%. Everyone knows that.”
“I think achilles is an injury that you really don’t want to play with because that is not good,” Williams concluded. “If it gets worse, I think it’s one of the worst. So I don’t want it to get to that point, when I actually have a chance to get better.”
It seems like the best option for Serena, right now, is to take it easy on her achilles so that things don’t get worse--even if that means not playing another match until next year.