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Nadal reaches quarter-finals as Williams withdraws through injury at French Open

06 June 2018

Serena Williams has pulled out of the French Open ahead of her match with Maria Sharapova, citing a pectoral muscle injury.

Williams, who has 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, recently returned to tennis after giving birth to her first child.

"Right now I can't actually serve it's kind of hard to play", she told a room packed with reporters.

Serena Williams's first grand-slam tournament since giving birth a year ago has come to an end for her.

"There are times where I'm on the court and I'm practicing, and I look on the monitor and I see my daughter and she's playing and I want to be there, but I know that these are the sacrifices you have to make to live out your dream".

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The scene had been set for Williams in her "superhero" catsuit to take on Russian ice queen Maria Sharapova in a fourth-round clash that had assumed top-billing.

'I've always wanted to be a mom, but I never seemed to have time with my career.

It was the first time the 36-year-old has withdrawn midstream from a Grand Slam singles event. "It's just a match I always get up for".

Talking about her doubles clash, Serena said "I thought [doubles] was a ideal opportunity to see how I was going".

He added: "If she had played and been unable to serve normally, she would have risked making the injury much worse". It didn't really get a lot better'.

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It had been the most eagerly awaited match of the tournament, coming just two days after Williams had blasted Sharapova's autobiography for being "100 per cent hearsay" when it came to references about her. I'm not serving that often; I'm serving once every four games... "So I'm just going to do what the doctors think I should do, and get all the evaluations on it".

Sharapova, seeded 28th at her first French Open since 2015, will play No. 3 Garbine Muguruza or Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko in the quarterfinals.

Williams, who spoke softly and was understandably despondent when she faced the media, will have a scan in Paris on Tuesday to discover the extent of the damage.

"But on the day I can leave a Grand Slam saying I gave everything I had, I played a great match, is not here yet".

"I made a promise that if I'm not at least 60 percent or 50 percent, then I probably shouldn't play", she added.

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"It's very hard because I love playing Maria", the 36-year-old said.

Nadal reaches quarter-finals as Williams withdraws through injury at French Open