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French Open: Serena Williams pulls out of tournament

WITHDRAWAL: Serena Williams' fourth round appearance was hotly-anticipated

SERENA WILLIAMS has pulled out the French Open today.

Williams was set to play Maria Sharapova in the fourth round of the tournament at Roland Garros.

The announcement comes less than an hour before the match was due to begin.

The match between Williams and Sharapova was hotly-anticipated. It would have been the pair's first match against one another since the 2016 Australian Open.

Williams has revealed that she has pulled out of the French Open due to an arm injury that was having an impact on her serve.

She said: "I've had issues with the right pectoral muscle to the point where I can't serve.

"I'll have a scan. I won't know about Wimbledon until I get the results."

The 36-year-old who played in a doubles match with her sister Venus last Sunday said she was aware of the problem during her singles match against Julia Gorges last Saturday.

"I tried lots of taping and support to see how it felt in match circumstances," Williams said.

"It is hard to play when I can't physically serve. I've never had this injury before, I've never felt it in my life and it was so painful.

"I don't know how to manage it."

In an Instagram post, Williams showed her appreciation for the support she had received and vowed to keep on fighting.

She said: "You always live to fight for another chance. I’ve done a lot of fighting and this is just the beginning. Thank you a for the support. I love you."

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