Hurt Achilles forces Serena to withdraw

Paris: Ahead of her second-round match here on Wednesday, Serena Williams (USA) ended her latest bid for a 24th Grand Slam title by withdrawing from the French Open because of an injured Achilles heel.

Serena, who got hurt during the semi-final loss at the US Open three weeks back, said that she is struggling to walk. ‘I haven’t had enough time to properly heal. It needs four to six weeks of sitting, doing nothing, said Serena.

The announcement came roughly an hour before the 39-year-old American was supposed to head out onto Court Philippe Chatrier to face Tsvetana Pironkova. Serena stated that she is unlikely to play another tournament this year.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal reached the third round of the French Open by beating American player Mackenzie McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.

Stefano Travaglia continued Italy’s strong showing in the French Open men’s singles as he knocked out Japan’s Kei Nishikori in five sets in the second round on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old won 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-2 to set up a dream clash with 12-times champion Rafael Nadal.
Compatriot Lorenzo Sonego also made the third round after beating Alexander Bublik but Lorenzo Giustino, who beat Corentin

Moutet in a six-hour epic in round one, ran out of steam in a heavy defeat by Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

Unseeded Nishikori, a three-time quarter-finalist at Roland Garros, came through a five-setter against Dan Evans in the opening round but could not shake off Travaglia who reached a Grand Slam third round for the first time.