PARIS (Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams believes she was right to withdraw from the Italian Open to rest a sore elbow and is now ready to start her quest for a 20th grand slam title at the French Open.
The American withdrew before her third-round match in Rome last week because of a right elbow injury, avoiding the same kind of mistake that hampered her Roland Garros chances last year.
“I think it was definitely the right decision. Last year I almost didn’t play Rome,” Williams told a news conference on Friday.
“I was like, Oh, I probably shouldn’t play. Ended up playing and ended up winning. Came to Paris and I couldn’t even really practice until like Friday-ish. That was really tough.”
Williams, who will face a qualifier in the first round, feels she is now in good shape as she looks to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup for the third time.
“I‘m just feeling physically a lot better. Had a tougher time to get ready than I thought, but I have been doing a lot of cardio and getting myself ready in that aspect,” she explained.
”Then I was able to play a little better today in practice. I was worried about (my elbow), but lately I have been really getting some really good treatment that has been able to alleviate it and make the symptoms go down substantially.
“So I feel a lot better going forward in the tournament and just getting through it.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Justin Palmer