Less than a week after taking the world by storm by winning her first post-baby Grand Slam match at the French Open, Serena Williams announced on Monday that she was pulling out of the tournament due to an injury.
"I unfortunately have been having some issues with my pec muscle … Right now I can't actually serve so it's kind of hard to play when I can't physically serve," she said in a press conference Monday morning. The pain started during her match against Julia Görges on Saturday, she explained. And in her doubles match Sunday, "I tried a lot of different tapings and I tried lots of different types of support to see how it would feel under match circumstance, and it didn't really get a lot better."
It's unclear what the exact injury is that Williams is dealing with at this point, but she said that she will get an MRI on Tuesday.
She also described the injury as "so painful," adding that she's dealt with just about every injury in the book. "I'm beyond disappointed. I put everything on the court, all for this moment. So it’s really difficult to be in this situation," she said. "I just always try to think positive and just think of the bigger picture and hopefully the next events and the rest of the year.”
When asked at the press conference if she has any idea when she'll be able to train again and whether she will be OK to play at Wimbledon (which starts July 2), Williams explained that she won't know until she gets her MRI results and other feedback from medical professionals.
Williams, who has said she wants to up her current count of 23 Grand Slam trophies to a record-breaking 25 (or more), continued, "Every match has been getting better, physically I've been great. I can only take solace in the fact that I'm going to get better."
Serena was scheduled to play Maria Sharapova on Monday. Throughout the duo's years-long rivalry, Serena has won 19 of their 22 head-to-head matches. "It's very difficult because I love playing Maria. It's a match I always get up for. It's extremely disappointing, but I made a promise to myself that if I'm not at least 50 percent, I shouldn't play," Serena said at the press conference.
After the announcement, Serena shared a message on Instagram about perseverance. "You always live to fight for another chance. I've done a lot of fighting and this is just the beginning. Thank you a for the support. I love you," she captioned a shot of herself serving.
Last Tuesday, Serena returned to the tennis court for her first Grand Slam match since welcoming daughter, Alexis Olympia, in September. She beat Kristyna Pliskova in a two-set match, wearing a sleek Nike bodysuit that garnered lots of attention. "Catsuit anyone? For all the moms out there who had a tough recovery from pregnancy—here you go. If I can do it, so can you. Love you all!!" she wrote alongside a shot of her in the outfit, while husband Alexis Ohanian posted a similar photo and wrote, "Supermama is back."