Serena Williams has been forced to pull out of the French Open through injury.
Maria Sharapova has wished old rival Serena Williams a “speedy recovery” after the returning American was forced to pull out of their French Open clash.
An eagerly anticipated fourth-round meeting was denied at Roland Garros on Monday as Williams withdrew with a pectoral injury, having appeared to be in discomfort during a doubles match on Sunday.
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Sharapova was granted a quarter-final place with the walkover, but she missed out on the opportunity of landing a rare WTA Tour win against Williams, an opponent she has not faced since 2016 and not beaten since 2004.
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In a statement released after Williams addressed the media, Sharapova expressed her wish to see the 23-time major champion make a swift return.
“I was looking forward to my match against Serena today and am disappointed that she had to withdraw,” the Russian said. “I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to the Tour soon.”