June 4, 2018
Serena Williams was forced to pull out of her much-awaited clash with Maria Sharapova due to a chest muscle injury.
What a difference a few hours make. One moment the entire tennis world was looking forward to one of our sport’s biggest matches in recent years.
The next moment an emotional Williams was giving her reasons for having to pull out of the grudge match against Sharapova.
‘Unfortunately I am having issues with a pec muscle and it’s getting worse not better,’ she explained. ‘I can’t actually serve right now so I can’t play the match. I’m beyond disappointed.’
Serena explained that the problem had developed during her last singles match and worsened during her doubles match alongside sister Venus.
‘I tried various strapping and ways to support it but as I’ve told my team, this is very painful and something I’ve never known before so I’m clueless as to how to manage it.’
That naturally begs the question as to whether Serena will be ready for Wimbledon. She still has a few weeks to get herself right.
Williams revealed: ‘I will get an MRI scan and speak to as many specialists as possible and we will go from there, so I can’t answer that right now.’
Wimbledon fans will hope that the initial scan offers a clear path for recovery to be fit in time for Wimbledon, where Serena would have a good chance of lifting the title on recent form.
As for Sharapova, she progresses to the quarter-finals and, technically at least, she has ended her 18-match losing streak against Serena by virtue of this walkover.
Meanwhile Rafael Nadal looked in great form as he beat the plucky 22-year-old, Maximilian Marterer. The underdog had a shot at taking the third set but Nadal simply wore him down in the tie-break to take a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory.
Indcredibly, Rafa has now won 37 consecutive sets at Roland Garros and he remains the red-hot favourite to lift the title once more.