Serena Williams abruptly pulled out of French Open match against Maria Sharapova

Serena Williams of the US celebrates after victory over Germany´s Julia Goerges in their women´s singles third round match

Serena Williams called off her Grand Slam comeback because of a chest muscle injury on Monday, pulling out of the French Open shortly before she was supposed to play Maria Sharapova in the fourth round.

Williams, who has 23 Grand Slam titles to her name, recently returned to tennis after giving birth to her first child.

"Right now I can't actually serve", said Williams as she announced her withdrawal from the interview room at Roland Garros.

She was unable to say whether or not she would be fit for Wimbledon which gets underway in four weeks' time.

The Russian now is into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2016 Australian Open - the last Slam she played before her doping suspension and the tournament at which she tested positive for meldonium, which resulted in 15 months away from the game.

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Williams' return to the French Open was a stunning comeback, after she gave birth to a daughter a year ago and suffered from blood clots and postpartum complications that made for a hard recovery.

Goolagong Cawley was in the stands on Court Philippe-Chatrier with daughter Kelly eager to see how Williams' comeback was coming along before the 23-times major victor withdrew from her scheduled fourth-round showdown with Maria Sharapova on Monday night (AEST).

Williams was slated to play Maria Sharapova, one of her biggest rivals, in the fourth round.

Sharapova is Russia's most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006.

Williams added: "The first time I felt it was against [Julia] Goerges in my last match". "It's a match I always get up for". I'm going to stay here and see some of the doctors here, see as many specialists as I can.

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"It's extremely disappointing", Williams said during a news conference at Roland Garros.

"It was very nice, this headline, and I know that some people think I will never make it, but I'm sure I'm going to make it", the seventh-seeded Garcia told reporters. That's when I started to feel it. "I've pretty much had every injury in the book [but not this]", she said.

Williams' coach said the plan is to have an MRI scan to assess the damage of the injury.

Sharapova will now play either Garbiñe Muguruza or Lesia Tsurenko in the quarter-finals. She said during Monday's news conference that her decision to pull out of the French Open is "very hard because I love playing Maria".

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Sharapova advances to an all-former-No.

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