07 June, 2018
Serena Williams typically has little problem handling Maria Sharapova, but when the two meet Monday in the fourth round of the French Open, Williams might have an extra incentive to continue the dominance.
The former world champion's withdrawal gifts Sharapova a quarter-final berth where she will face either Garbine Muguruza or Lesia Tsurenko.
The two-time Paris champion, seeded 28, dropped just three games as she knocked out sixth seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova. "At least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little bit disappointing". And while she's "pretty much had every injury in the book", this was the first time dealing with this particular malady.
"I'm going to stay here and see some of the doctors here, see as many specialists as I can". I've never felt this in my life - it's so painful.
Participating in the tournament for the first time since 2015 due to a 15-month ban over a doping violation, Sharapova is set to play either the United States' Serena Williams or Germany's Julia Goerges. But she hid that bit of information - even from her coach - and a day after Williams struggled through a doubles loss with her sister, Venus.
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"It's really hard to be in this situation, but. for now in my life, I just always try to think positively and just think of the bigger picture and hopefully (I can play in) the next events and the rest of the year". "I would have made her cancel the doubles, believe me". I put everything on the court, you know.
The 23-time grand slam singles champion will remain in Paris to undergo further treatment and is unsure when she will be ready to make a return to action. I sacrificed so much to be at this event. That's when I started to feel it. The Russian will have to do something exceptional to get past her.
"The fact that I physically can't serve at all is a good indication that maybe I should just go back to the drawing board and stay positive", Williams said, "and try to get better and not get it to a point where it could be a lot worse".
Mertens was out of step throughout much of the match, and despite a small rally at the end, she gave Halep the win on a double fault - her fourth of the match.
In a statement released by the tournament, Sharapova wished Williams "a speedy recovery".