Serena Williams 'definitely' playing the French Open despite Achilles injury

Serena Williams says she will ‘definitely’ be travelling to Paris for the French Open despite sustaining an Achilles injury during her US Open semi-final defeat to Victoria Azarenka.

Williams insisted the issue had little bearing on the result but the incident came at a crucial moment in the match and ultimately, played a role in her being broken – the only break in the deciding set.

The French Open will begin in little over two weeks’ time but Williams is adamant she will be there and played down the severity of the problem.

‘I just was stretching,’ said Williams after the 1-6 6-3 6-3 defeat. ‘Like, I ran for a shot. Off that first step that I took, it was a long point – it wasn’t my ankle, it was actually my Achilles. It just overstretched. It was pretty intense. Then that was that.

‘I mean, it feels fine. I don’t think it had anything to do. I think Victoria played well. It didn’t affect my play ultimately at all, just for that one point. Yeah, it’s fine. I’m fine, yeah.’

Azarenka, the two-time Grand Slam champion from Belarus, was already in the ascendancy.

Having lost the first set 6-1, she roared back to secure a first Slam win over the 23-time major winner.

Reflecting on the defeat, Williams added: ‘I started really strong. Then she just kept fighting.

‘She just changed and started playing better and better. Maybe I took a little too much off the gas pedal at some point.

‘I mean, it’s obviously disappointing. At the same time, you know, I did what I could today. I feel like other times I’ve been close and I could have done better. Today I felt like I gave a lot.

‘Yeah, I mean, I’m definitely going to be going to Paris.’

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