Sharapova wishes Serena 'speedy recovery' after Roland Garros withdrawal
Maria Sharapova has wished old rival Serena Williams a "speedy recovery" after the returning American was forced to pull out of their French Open clash.
An eagerly anticipated fourth-round meeting was denied at Roland Garros on Monday as Williams withdrew with a pectoral injury, having appeared to be in discomfort during a doubles match on Sunday.
Sharapova was granted a quarter-final place with the walkover, but she missed out on the opportunity of landing a rare WTA Tour win against Williams, an opponent she has not faced since 2016 and not beaten since 2004.
In a statement released after Williams addressed the media, Sharapova expressed her wish to see the 23-time major champion make a swift return.
"I was looking forward to my match against Serena today and am disappointed that she had to withdraw," the Russian said. "I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she returns to the Tour soon."
Sharapova and Williams monopolised the French Open between 2012 and 2015, but the former has since served a 15-month doping ban, while the latter took time out to give birth to her first child last year.