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'I couldn't watch Serena, I had to turn away,' says Coco Gauff of her idol

Serena Williams Wimbledon draw

Coco Gauff said she couldn't watch her idol Serena Williams get injured and struggle off court during her first match at Wimbledon.

Serena was only four games into her Centre Court match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich when she slipped and hurt her leg.

Despite struggling on after a medical time out, she could only manage another couple of games before she fell to her knees and conceded the match.

The Centre Court crowd gave her a standing ovation as she made an emotional departure hobbling off court waving at her fans with tears in her eyes.

Coco Gauff, who had just finished her first round match, beating British wildcard Francesca Jones, said she had to turn away as it was just too emotional.

"It was not easy to watch. Actually I turned away," said Gauff.

"I was in the gym actually stretching. I turned away because stuff like that makes me, like, really emotional.

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"I wish her the best. I wish that hopefully she can have a speedy recovery

"You could tell she was really emotional. Nobody ever wants to retire, but especially at a Grand Slam, a place as special as Wimbledon after waiting two years to come back.

"The only thing I can do is wish her well wishes and hope she’ll be back in time for the hard court season.’

Gauff says when it comes to Serena she has a special connection, because she was the player who inspired her to take up the sport.

"With Serena, I mean, it was hard for me to watch that. I’m a big fan of her, even though I’m a competitor now.

"But she’s the reason why I started to play tennis. It’s hard to watch any player get injured, but especially her."

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