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'I'm Struggling To Walk': Serena Williams Withdraws From French Open

Serena Williams serves during her Women's Singles first round match against Kristie Ahn on day two of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on Monday in Paris, France.
Serena Williams serves during her Women's Singles first round match against Kristie Ahn on day two of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on Monday in Paris, France.

Serena Williams unexpectedly ended her latest bid to tie the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles early. She withdrew from the French Open on Wednesday because of an Achilles injury.

"I'm struggling to walk, so that's kind of a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover," the tennis player said during a press conference.

Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, injured her Achilles in a U.S. Open semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka earlier this month. She was set to play Tsvetana Pironkova on Wednesday. But after a "very short" warm up, she and her coach decided it was best to not play.

On Monday, she beat Kristie Ahn in a 7-6 (2), 6-0 victory.

Williams has been bidding for her 24th major singles trophy for the last few years, which would tie with Margaret Court for most in history. Her next chance will be the Australian Open in January.

She thinks she'll need to take four to six weeks to recover.

"I think Achilles' is a real injury that you don't want to play with because that is not good if it gets worse. I think it's one of the worst. So I don't want it to get to that point," she said.

"I don't know if I'll be able to play another tournament this year," she added.

Reese Oxner is an intern on NPR's News Desk.

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