The bitter rivalry between Williams and Sharapova goes way back

French Open 2018 Serena Williams returns to action

Paris: Owing to an injury, American tennis ace Serena Williams was forced to withdraw ahead of a fourth-round French Open match against Maria Sharapova.

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".

"I've had issues with the right pectoral muscle to the point where I can't serve", Williams said during a press conference on Monday.

Williams revealed she made a decision to play in the doubles to test her fitness but now faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon.

This is the first time ever in Williams' illustrious career that she's withdrawn mid-way through a Grand Slam, however, she has withdrawn midway through other tournaments 15 times.

It was her first appearance at this French Open after the birth of her daughter in September. "I'm beyond disappointed. I gave up so much time with my daughter and time with my family. all for this moment". I always try to think positive'.

Serena Williams said she was "beyond disappointed" at pulling out of her match with Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros. Their rivalry dates to 2004, and Williams won the most recent matchup at the 2016 Australian Open. I've never felt this in my life. "It's just a match I always get up for".

For her part, Williams's answer befit one of the greatest athletes of all time: "I honestly don't have any thoughts about that". Her voice trembled a bit as she explained that she will get an MRI exam and consult with doctors before figuring out what will happen next for her.

Sharapova turned the situation around, but Garcia got a lot of praise. Williams also is not sure when she will be able to return to action, leaving her Wimbledon status in doubt with just a month before the next slam begins.

Williams tried various tapings and support systems to help the injury during the doubles loss on Sunday, but said that nothing helped enough to allow her to play on. I've made every sacrifice I could.

With this result, Sharapova advances to the quarterfinals for a ninth time. "But this is a little different, and, yeah, I'm clueless as to what to do", she said. "Her game matches up so well against mine".

Venus Williams (USA) and Serena Williams (USA) during their doubles match against Andreja Klepac (SLO) and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) (not pictured) on day eight of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros.

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