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Serena Williams withdraws from 2020 French Open due to injury

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Serena Williams withdraws from 2020 French Open due to injury
Serena Williams (pictured) defeated Kristie Ahn in straight sets on Monday at the 2020 French Open before she withdrew from her second round match Wednesday in Paris. File Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Serena Williams on Wednesday withdrew from the 2020 French Open due to an Achilles injury before she was set to play a second-round match against Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in Paris.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion sustained the injury during her U.S. Open semifinal loss to Victoria Azarenka on Sept. 10 in Queens, N.Y. She beat fellow American Kristie Ahen in straight sets on Monday at Roland Garros before she pulled out of the Grand Slam.

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"I love playing in Paris," Williams told reporters Wednesday. "I adore the clay [courts]. It's so fun for me. I really wanted to give an effort here.

"My Achilles didn't have enough time to properly heal after the U.S. Open. I was able to get it somewhat better. Looking forward in this tournament, I don't think I could get through enough matches. I'm struggling to walk so that's a telltale sign that I should try to recover."

Williams -- the women's No. 6 seed -- was on a quest to win her fourth French Open title and a record-tying 24th Grand Slam. He last Grand Slam victory came at the 2017 Australian Open.

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The 39-year-old said the injury will require two weeks of rest and four to six weeks of rehabilitation. Pironkova moves on to face Barbora Strycova or Barbora Krejcikova in the third round of the French Open.

Moments from Serena Williams' career

Serena Williams returns the ball to her sister, Venus, during their match at the Lipton Tennis Championship in Key Biscayne, Fla., on March 28, 1998. Venus Williams, defeated her sister 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Photo by Susan Knowles/UPI | License Photo

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