Sports

Serena Williams withdraws ahead of Sharapova showdown

Serena Williams withdraws ahead of Sharapova showdown

Their French Open fourth-round showdown was billed as a grudge match - the chance for Williams to hit back at Sharapova's comments about her in her autobiography and an opportunity for Sharapova to end an 18-match, 14-year losing streak against the American.

The 36-year-old said she had suffered a pectoral muscle injury in her third-round win over Julia Goerges and "can't serve at all".

"But I believe I can hold a trophy not only here, I believe I can do it in every tournament I play".

She was unable to say whether or not she would be fit for Wimbledon which gets underway in four weeks' time.

She was also in just her third tournament of the year after giving birth to daughter Olympia in September.

"I gave up so much, from time with my daughter to time with my family".

Serena Williams said she was buoyed by her performance at Roland Garros.

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. Because of the withdrawal, this does not count as a victory for Sharapova, who will play 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.

It was in Melbourne that Sharapova tested positive for meldonium after which she served a 15-month doping ban.

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Kardashian soon clapped back, writing, "Babe that's not wisdom at all because you're assuming you know who I'm talking about". Instead, he went with a very last-minute option that included the phrase "I hate being Bi-Polar its awesome" in neon green.

Sharapova, victor of the title in Paris in 2012 and 2014, will now face the victor of No.3 seed Garbiñe Muguruza and Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko for a spot in the semifinals. "It's a match I always get up for and her game matches up against mine". The Russian will have to do something exceptional to get past her.

Despite her well-documented fall-outs with Sharapova, Williams insisted she had been looking forward to the match.

"It's very hard because I love playing Maria", the 23-time major champion added.

Dressed in the black bodysuit with a red band around the waist she resembled a superhero - not just a supermum - and was playing as if she had never been away.

Her voice trembled a bit during a brief news conference, where she explained she will get an MRI on Tuesday and consult with doctors before figuring out what comes next. Evidently the problem remained as the two of them do not often lose a deciding set 6-0.

The unseeded Australian, world No. 90, was the French Open finalist in 2010, a three-time semi-finalist and the victor of the US Open in 2011.

"Every match has been getting better for me".

"Physically I'm doing great". I sacrificed so much to be at this event.

"I enjoyed the court and I think I've played my best match so far here". I have never felt this in my life.


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