ibusinesslines.com August 17, 2018

Injured Serena withdraws from French Open before Sharapova clash

09 June 2018, 12:47 | Charlene Valdez

Opinion: Serena Williams and Team Blew It at French Open

Roland Garros 2018, Day 10: Match Points

The most anticipated match so far at the 2018 French Open was over before it began on Monday after Serena Williams retired just before her showdown with Maria Sharapova, citing a pectoral injury.

Diego Schwartzman reacts after beating No. 6 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the French Open fourth round at Roland Garros in Paris yesterday. But Kerber took her next chance when the seventh-seeded Garcia, again serving to stay in the match, hit a forehand wide.

Serena Williams at a press conference after announcing her withdrawal from the French Open.

Williams' voice shook with dejection and disbelief as she said she can't serve because of a problem with her right pectoral muscle. The Romanian beat Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1 to advance to her third quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

She even said, "It's been incredibly frustrating, but also I'm excited because I feel like I've been playing really, really well and I can only go up", Williams said on Instagram.

"I think the slower the surface is, the better for her", Wozniacki said.

The 10-time victor will next face a familiar foe, 11th-seed Diego Schwartzman, who rallied from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 1-6 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-0) 6-2. Fognini started to match the enormous amount of winners to Cilic, and the match evolved into a nail-biting five-setter, but the Croat prevailed, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-7 (4), 6-3.

"I love playing Maria - it's just a match I always get up for".

The exciting quarterfinals start on Tuesday, with a tantalizing match between sensations Dominic Thiem - the only man to defeat Nadal on clay this year - and Alexander Zverev, the only person to have won a clay Masters 1000 this year besides Nadal.

Sharapova's coach, Thomas Hogstedt, said that word of Williams's withdrawal arrived while his player was doing warmup exercises outside the locker room at Court Philippe Chatrier, waiting for the match ahead of theirs to finish.

At 31, Sharapova is the oldest player in the draw and also the most successful one.

When Kerber and Halep met in the Australian Open semifinals, Halep saved two match points and prevailed 9-7 in the third set.

She'll move on to face world No. 1 Simona Halep, who needed three sets to defeat No. 12 Angelique Kerber. This is 30-year-old's second time in the Round of 8 in French Open, last time being in 2012. The last time the two were scheduled to play was in Qatar in February, but Halep was forced to retire.

It would have been the pair's 22nd meeting. The Spaniard is targeting an 11 title in Paris this fortnight and has won his last 37 consecutive completed sets at the French Open (only Bjorn Borg has posted a longer streak of 41).

Nadal's win-loss record at the tournament is a mythical 83-2.

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