Serena Williams doubts she will be able to play again this year following her withdrawal from the French Open on Wednesday.
The American pulled out of the Grand Slam just before her second-round encounter with Tsvetana Pironkova was set to get under way on Philippe Chatrier.
Williams was able to come through her first-round tie unscathed, beating Kristie Ahn 7-6(2) 6-0, but an Achilles injury she was carrying from the US Open had started to flare up and ultimately meant she was unable to play Wednesday’s match.
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"We realised it wasn’t the best for me to try to play today," Williams told reporters. “I’m struggling to walk, I felt like I needed to walk with a limp.
"An Achilles injury is not one you want to play with as it can get worse."
Serena Williams: 'I need 4-6 weeks of sitting and doing nothing'
Williams was chasing a 24th Grand Slam title, but the 39-year-old must now turn her attentions to January’s Australian Open after admitting she is unlikely to play another tournament in 2020.
"I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing,” Williams said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to play another tournament this year.
"If it was my knee it would be really more devastating for me. This is something that just happened.
"I feel like my body is actually doing really, really well. I just ran into, for lack of a better word, bad timing and bad luck, really, in New York. It happened but my body is actually doing really, really well."
Highlights: Williams recovers to beat Ahn and reach second round
Williams revealed after her first-round win over Ahn that she had picked up the injury during her run to the semi-finals of the US Open.
"I prayed a lot to make these problems disappear," Serena told a press conference after the straight sets win over Ahn.
"After the US Open I went to Patrick (Mouratoglou's) academy to do my rehabilitation. One of the reasons I'm going through this conference very quickly is because I have to follow the same protocol afterwards and do some sort of laser and ice rehabilitation.
"I love playing tennis. I love competing. It's my job and I'm pretty good at it still... I'm so close to some things and I feel like I'm almost there... that's what keeps me going."
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