The shock withdrawal came just minutes before she was due on Court Philippe Chatrier to face fierce rival Sharapova.
"Now I wish her all the best because she's a fantastic player and I don't know how much longer it will take before she gets back to her old self, but I wish her all the best. I've never had this injury before, I've never felt it in my life and it was so painful". "It's not handsome. I know how it feels". She had dropped only one set the entire tournament, which made the idea that Sharapova could end her run even more enticing.
But she wanted to try. Her withdrawal follows a freaky interview excerpt that went viral over the weekend, in which a reporter asked whether she was "intimidated" by Sharapova's sex appeal (an idea which allegedly began with none other than President Donald Trump) despite the fact that Sharapova has not defeated Williams since 2004. All for this moment.
She added: "It's really hard to be in this situation, but I always, for now in my life, 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". "Yeah, it's very hard, because I love playing Maria".
"I'm going to get an MRI tomorrow".
"But on the day I can leave a Grand Slam saying I gave everything I had, I played a great match, is not here yet". I've made every sacrifice I could. So it's extremely disappointing. In my doubles yesterday I tried a lot of different tapings and support.
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"I don't know how to manage it". It's her first time dealing with this kind of injury. I have given up so much to be here. "I've done a lot of fighting and this is just the beginning".
Williams gets a chance to write her own chapter when she returns to the court today.
The head-to-head between the two now stands at an asterisked 3-19. I went back home and slept for two days.
Last October, Sharapova won the 2017 WTA Tianjin Open in China and it was her first tournament to win since May 2015.
It was her first appearance at this French Open after the birth of her daughter in September.