Serena Williams' journey at the 2020 French Open has come to an end.
The tennis star, 39, has withdrawn from the annual Paris-based tournament due to an achilles injury, she told reporters on Wednesday ahead of her second-round match against Bulgarian tennis star Tsvetana Pironkova.
"I really wanted to give an effort here," she said. "It's my achilles that didn't have enough to properly heal after the Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long-term in this tournament, will I be able to get through enough matches? For me, I don't think I could."
"(I'm) struggling to walk so that's a tell-tale sign that I should try to recover," Williams added.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion injured her achilles earlier this month during her semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka at the U.S. Open in New York, which caused her to bow out of the Italian Open, according to the Women's Tennis Association.
Williams won her first-round match at the French Open on Monday against fellow American Kristie Ahn.
″In my first-round match, in the second set I just felt like I needed to walk with a limp and that was no good,″ she told reporters. ″I had to focus on walking straight so I wasn't limping. I tried. I always give 100 percent, everyone knows that. Maybe even more than 100 if that's possible. I take solace in that. I think achilles is a real injury that you don't want to play with because that is not good if it gets worse.″
The tennis champion went on to say that doctors said she will require four to six weeks of rest before resuming full training.
The athlete posted on Instagram after she announced her withdrawal from the tournament, writing, ″Paris- I love don’t worry I’ll be back- love you all thanks for the support. Out but not for long 💪🏿."
Williams has won three of her 23 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros, which puts her just behind record-holder Margaret Court, who has 24 Grand Slam titles.
The French Open began on September 21 and will run through October 11 at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris.
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