Serena Williams 'beyond disappointed' after withdrawing from French Open due to injury

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Serena Williams announced her shock withdrawal from the French Open due to injury, minutes before her scheduled fourth-round clash match against long-time rival Maria Sharapova, on Monday.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion revealed that she had suffered a pectoral muscle injury during her game against Julia Goerges.

“I unfortunately have been having some issues with my pec, my pec muscle, and (it) has unfortunately been getting worse to the point where right now I can’t actually serve. It’s kind of hard to play when I can’t physically serve,” Serena said.

The 36-year old did not answer whether she will compete at Wimbledon.

“I’m beyond disappointed,” she said.

“I gave up so much time with my daughter and time with my family all for this moment. So it’s really difficult to be in this situation.”

Meanwhile, Sharapova said she was sad to see her opponent go out this way and wished her a quick recovery.

“I was looking forward to my match against Serena and am disappointed that she had to withdraw.”

“I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to the tour soon.”

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Novak Djokovic cruises into French Open quarter-finals after win over Fernando Verdasco

Andy Sims 3/06/2018
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Novak Djokovic eased into the quarter-finals of the French Open in straight sets against Fernando Verdasco.

The 2016 Paris champion is still not at his dynamic best following a long absence due to an elbow problem, but he did not have to be to get past the 30th seed.

Djokovic took the first set, a slugfest of deuces which lasted almost an hour, with a solitary break of serve.

He repeated the trick in the second, taking eight points in a row on the way, but not without complaining to the umpire about the slippery court.

Meanwhile, Verdasco had slipped off a trainer to reveal toes heavily covered in plasters while receiving treatment for a blister on the sole of his foot.

The Spaniard grimaced his way through the third set as Djokovic broke twice to run out 6-3 6-4 6-2 winner.

Alexander Zverev has become marathon man of Roland Garros after coming through another five-setter to book his place in the quarter-final.

Alexander Zverev 1

The 21-year-old German, seen along with Djokovic as one of the few obstacles to Rafael Nadal claiming an 11th title, was 2-1 down in sets for the third straight match, this time against Karen Khachanov.

But second seed Zverev roared back to oust the 6ft 6ins Russian, ranked 38 in the world, 4-6 7-6 (7/4) 2-6 6-3 6-3.

Despite his lofty seeding this is the first time Zverev had reached the last eight of a grand slam.

He has now played 18 sets to Nadal’s nine, with the Spaniard facing unseeded German Max Marterer on Monday in his fourth-round tie.

But Zverev insists he is more than happy to keep going the distance.

He said: “It’s about trying to find a way and trying to win. That’s what I am able to do in the last few matches, and I’m very happy about that.

“I’m very happy about being in the quarter-finals here going the hard way, going the long distance every single time and, you know, showing myself, showing everybody that I can play for as long as I need to.

“I’m in the quarter-finals of a grand slam. If you’re mentally fatigued, then something is wrong with you”

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Dominic Thiem says it's time for him to finally break Grand Slam hoodoo as he enters French Open quarter-finals

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Dominic Thiem said on Sunday that since he will soon turn 25, it is time for him to finally taste Grand Slam success.

Thiem made it to the the French Open quarter-finals for the third straight year on Sunday after defeating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-0, 5-7, 6-4.

In the last two years, the Austrian has not managed to go beyond the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

At the Australian and US Open and Wimbledon, Thiem has never gone beyond the fourth round.

“I think for me it’s time to move on to make a great step, because I’m turning 25 (in September). I’m not that young anymore,” Thiem was quoted as saying by AFP.

Thiem, ranked at eight in the world, used to carry tree trunks to improve his body mass and strength.

In previous editions, it was Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who defeated him at the French Open semi-finals in 2016 and 2017.

Thiem said trying to win a major while Roger Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Andy Murray are playing has been difficult.

“At the Grand Slams, there are the ‘Big Four’. And the last ten years you needed to beat at least two of them in a Grand Slam to win, and not many players did it,” said Thiem.

“Maybe it gets a little bit easier in the future when they are not that young anymore or when some of them stop.”

Meanwhile, German second seed Alexander Zverev secured a dramatic 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 fourth-round win over Karen Khachanov and will face Thiem in the last eight.

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