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Serena Williams Withdraws From French Open Due to Achilles Heel Injury

Serena Williams announced her decision to withdraw from the French Open before her second-round match against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova, citing an Achilles injury.

Williams said she was "struggling to walk" and was likely not going to play another tournament in 2020 to allow it "enough time to properly heal."

“I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing,” Williams said. “At least two weeks of just sitting down.”

Williams told reporters the injury worsened since her U.S. Open run, where she reached the semifinals. The injury ends her bid for a 24th Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Margaret Court's all-time record. She has reached the final at four of the last eight major tournaments but has not won since the 2017 Australian Open.

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Williams turned 39 on Sept. 26 and noted that this injury would mark the end of her chase for the record.

“I love playing tennis. I love competing and I love being out here," Williams said. "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 O.K. And I’m so close to some things. I’m almost there. That’s what keeps me going.”

In 2018, Williams pulled out of the French Open before a fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova due to a pulled muscle.