Serena Williams withdrew from the French Open before her second-round match on Wednesday, one of several prominent women to bow out on the day.
Williams announced she was dropping out of the tournament due to a left Achilles injury, handing a walkover victory to Bulgarian wild card Tsvetana Pironkova.
Serena Expects to Miss Rest of Season
The 39-year-old Williams has won three French Open titles. The withdrawal means Williams will fail to make a Grand Slam final in 2020, something she has accomplished every year since 2007.
“I really wanted to give an effort here. It’s my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to properly heal after the [US Open],” Williams told reporters. “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.”
Williams said she expects to rest for about two weeks, then take four to six weeks for recovery, a timeline that will likely end her season. Williams continues to chase a 24th Grand Slam title, a mark that would tie Margaret Court’s all-time record.
French Open Odds (Thursday Matches)
- Jelena Ostapenko (+138) vs. No. 2 Karolina Pliskova (-175)
- Ana Bogdan (+175) vs. No. 4 Sofia Kenin (-225)
- No. 1 Novak Djokovic (-10000) vs. Ricardas Berankis (+2000)
- Pablo Cuevas (+400) vs. No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas (-600)
- Lloyd Harris (+650) vs. No. 7 Matteo Berrenttini (-1200)
- No. 7 Petra Kvitova (-900) vs. Jasmine Paolini (+550)
Odds via William Hill
Two other prominent women made it onto the court at the French Open on Wednesday, but failed to advance to the third round. No. 10 seed Victoria Azarenka fell to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-2 after reaching the final at last month’s US Open.
“The lesson I need to learn is that sometimes when things don’t work for me, the way I was playing today was just not the right time, was to be willing to adjust a little bit more and not think kind of in the end of the match to finally start changing your kind of my game,” Azarenka said afterward. “I felt like nothing really was working, but I still had to find a way to win, and I didn’t.”
Sixteen-year-old Coco Gauff also lost her second-round matchup, falling to Martina Trevisan 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. Gauff double-faulted 19 times in the loss, including twice in the decisive game.
Nadal, Thiem Advance in Straight Sets
The men’s seeds at the French Open had better luck on Wednesday. No. 2 Rafael Nadal had little trouble with Mackenzie McDonald, blowing away the American 6-1, 6-0, 6-3. Nadal is attempting to win a 13th French Open title, which would give him 20 Grand Slam titles in total, equalling Roger Federer for the most among men.
US Open champion Dominic Thiem also cruised on Wednesday, beating Jack Sock 6-1, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). Alexander Zverev – who lost the final to Thiem in New York – faced more resistance, but eventually scored a 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4 win over Frenchman Pierre-Hughes Herbert.
Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic will be in action at the French Open on Thursday when he battles Ricardas Berankis in a second-round clash. William Hill posted Djokovic as an astronomical -10000 favorite over Berankis (+2000). In women’s play, No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova (-175) faces a tough test in the form of 2017 French Open champion, Jelena Ostapenko (+138).