Sharapova coach on Williams' 'shock' withdrawal

  • Sharapova coach on Williams' 'shock' withdrawal

Sharapova coach on Williams' 'shock' withdrawal

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after victory over Australia's Ashleigh Barty during their women's singles second round match on day five of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris.

The third seed will next take on the victor of the match between Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber.

"I really felt like I needed to because I'm never going to know how I feel under match play if I didn't have that match", said Williams.

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.

A pectoral muscle injury had slammed the brakes on the ruthless Williams's serving arm so she decided not to take up the opportunity to extend her 14-year, 18-match win streak over the Russian.

Williams' voice quivered as she said she can't serve because of a problem with her right pectoral muscle.

She said that it is very hard because I like to play against Maria.

Williams announced her withdrawal at a news conference at Roland Garros on Monday. Sharapova had 27 unforced errors and had her serve broken six times.

The withdrawal of her nemesis Williams, who was appearing at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since the birth of her daughter Alexis in September, has opened the door for Sharapova to claim a third French Open crown.

It was her book "Unstoppable", published past year, which had dominated the build-up to her scheduled fourth-round meeting with Serena Williams, until the American pulled out injured.

"I'm beyond disappointed. I gave up so much from time with my daughter and time with my family, all for this moment". Halep has won her last two clashes with Sharapova but has so often fallen short on the big occasions as she continues her search for a maiden slam, while the 2016 Australian and US Open champion Kerber has won her last three clashes with Sharapova.

"I want to play always with him, because now with my ranking, I know if I play against him it's going to be in the good rounds", said Schwartzman.

Meanwhile Sharapova wished Serena a speedy recovery.

Muguruza will face world number one Simona Halep, who got the better of Angelique Kerber over three sets, in the semi-final. She beat Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the tournament's first round, and she partly credits her killer black catsuit for the win. "When you're writing an autobiography I don't think there's any reason to write anything that's not true". "But I try to improve this thing, and I try to enjoy my nerves, because they are special when you play in a grand slam".

The clay courts of Roland Garros host the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Frenchwoman briefly threatened a comeback when she pulled a break back for 5-3 after saving four match points, but then sent a routine forehand wide on the fifth match point in the following game. She was banned in 2016 following a failed doping test and previous year, shortly after she returned to the Tour, organisers declined to offer her a wildcard. "It's tough to just assess a single tournament".