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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Maria Sharapova wishes Serena Williams ‘speedy recovery’ after French Open withdrawal

Serena Williams has been forced to pull out of the French Open through injury.

tennis Updated: Jun 04, 2018 20:46 IST
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Maria Sharapova has not beaten Serena Williams since 2004.
Maria Sharapova has not beaten Serena Williams since 2004.(AFP)
         

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.

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.

ALSO READ | Serena Williams pulls out of French Open clash against Maria Sharapova

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.”

Sharapova and Williams monopolised the French Open between 2012 and 2015, but the former has since served a 15-month doping ban, while the latter took time out to give birth to her first child last year.