Sharapova wishes Serena 'speedy recovery' after Roland Garros withdrawal

Serena Williams has been forced to pull out of the French Open through injury.

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova at the 2016 Australian Open   -  Getty Images

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.