Serena Williams withdraws from French Open, Azarenka, Gauff Lose, Nadal, Thiem Reach Third Round
(September 30, 2020) Serena Williams has pulled out of the French Open ahead of her second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova due to an Achilles injury.
“After I warmed up, and it was a very short warmup, and then afterwards I talked to my coach and I was, like, What do you think? What are your thoughts with this? So we kind of both thought about it, and we really realized that it more than likely wasn’t the best for me to try to play today,” Williams said addressing the media.
“I really wanted to give an effort here. So it’s my Achilles that didn’t have enough time to properly heal after the Open. I was able to get it somewhat better, but just looking long term in this tournament will I be able to get through enough matches. And so for me I don’t think I could, I’m struggling to walk, so that’s kind of a telltale sign that I should try to recover.”
“Achilles is a real injury that you don’t want to play with, because that is not good if it gets worse.”
“I think I need four to six weeks of sitting and doing nothing, at least two weeks of just sitting down, and then from after that two weeks I have been told that I need to start doing a little training. So I think I’m going to call it more than likely. I don’t know, doing the math on that, I don’t know if I’ll be able to play another tournament this year. I’m definitely going to take that first initial two weeks of just nothing, and then start from the next two weeks, and then from that I will get a little bit better. But it will give me a lot of time to fully recover for the future.”
Two-time major winner, US Open finalist and Cincinnati winner Victoria Azarenka lost to world No. 161 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-2. Schmiedlova beat Venus Williams in the first round.
“Well, the lesson I need to learn is that sometimes when things don’t work for me, the way I was playing today was just not the right time, was to be willing to adjust a little bit more and not think kind of in the end of the match to finally start changing your kind of my game,” said the woman from Belarus.
“I felt like I was trying a lot, trying different things, but today things were not working. I felt like nothing really was working, but I still had to find a way to win, and I didn’t. So it’s a lesson for me to learn how to be more, I will say, courageous, to go for more. And I will learn it, for sure.”
In the dramatic match of the day in the women’s draw, Kiki Bertens saved match points, survived cramps and had to leave the court in a wheelchair in defeating 2010 French Open finalist Sara Errani 7-6 (5), 3-6, 9-7 to advance to the third round.
Errani walked off the court without acknowledging her opponent with a racquet tap, which has replaced handshakes. The woman from Italy was heard saying a curse word as she walked off the court. During the match Errani was imitating Bertens’ painful cries as she was cramping, as though she did not believe she was in pain.
“That match, I don’t like – I don’t know how to say in English – you know, when somebody joking on you,” Errani said during her news conference. “She can play an amazing match. She played an amazing match, but I don’t like the situation. One hour she’s injury, then she run like never. I don’t like that. She go out of the court on the chair, and now she’s in the locker perfect, in the restaurant. I don’t like these things. I’m sorry.”
“I mean she run like never all the point for one hour, and you are one hour… You know these things. Of course, good job for her. If you want to do like that, is a good job. I think she can even do the same without doing that. It was good. I’m bad because was hurting me and make me angry. So well done for her.”
During Bertens’ news conference, she responded to an accusation made by Errani to media that her cramps were an act.
“Well, yeah, for me she can say whatever she feels like, but yeah, well, then maybe I should take some more acting classes or should pursue a career in that, I’m not sure what she’s thinking, but, no, I didn’t feel really good on court to be honest,” Bertens said. “But a good thing I think it was for me that all the time the cramps were coming and going again, it was not like that it was staying in the body. So I felt like I had to stay calm and not be pumped too much because all the time when I did the fist pump like I could not do the fingers any more normal, so I just try to stay calm.
“It was a roller coaster, to be honest. Physically I didn’t feel great, like I was cramping, I think everyone could really see that. But it was weird because I didn’t feel really tired to but I was sweating a lot, I was cold, so I don’t know what it really was, maybe a little bit of tension of course also in the body, so but, yeah, I kept on fighting and I still don’t know how I did manage to get the win.”
American Coco Gauff has been knocked out of the French Open. The 16-year-old double-faulted 19 times in her second-round loss to qualifier Martina Trevisan 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 who is ranked 159th in the world.
Twelve-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal has reached the third round with straight sets win over American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 on Wednesday. Nadal is now 95-2 in Paris.
“I am just trying my best every single day,” Nadal said. “I am working hard in every practice to try to be better and better in every match.”
“Today was not that cold, so that’s the main thing. Not that cold, the conditions are not that bad.”
US Open winner Dominic Thiem is into the third round. The two-time French Open finalist beat Jack Sock 6-1, 6-3, 7-6(6). The Austrian recovered from 3-6 down in the tiebreak.
“I messed it up a bit in the third set, up 4-3 and 40/15, ” Thiem said on-court. “I found myself in the tie-break and he played very well, particularly in the second and third sets. I was lucky to save the three set points in the tie-break.”
The son of 1992 Roland Garros winner Petr Korda, Sebastian Korda in into the last 32 of the French Open. The American beat countryman and No. 21 seed John Isner, 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in two hours and 26 minutes for a spot in the third round. Korda is a former No. 1 junior and won the Australian Open junior title in 2018.
More to follow…..