Three-time French Open champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the 2020 tournament due to an Achilles injury.
The 39-year old had been scheduled to play her second-round match against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday.
Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles and was aiming to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 at the French Open after missing out on the opportunity in the just ended US Open.
“I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing,” Williams told a news conference.
“I have been struggling to walk so that’s a telltale sign that I should try to recover.
“Achilles is an injury you don’t want to play with – I think it was one of the worst, don’t want to get to that point, I want it to get better.”
The 23-time grand slam champion picked up the Achilles injury during her US Open semi-final defeat to Victoria Azarenka earlier this month.
Prior to her withdrawal from the tournament, she beat fellow American Kristie Ahn 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 in the first round on Monday but said she was struggling physically.
“In the second set I felt I needed to walk with a limp,” Williams added. “I had to focus on walking straight so I wasn’t limping. I tried and always give 100%, I take solace in that.
“I’m not sure I will play another tournament this year. It is not an acute injury, it is a nagging injury. I ran into bad timing and bad luck really.”