Serena Williams had a disastrous return to Wimbledon, falling on Centre Court and being forced to retire just seven games into her first match.
Serena arrived on court with her right thigh heavily strapped, but she was playing well and was a break up in the first set at 3-1 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich when she slipped near the back of the court.
After calling a medical time-out she returned to court, but lost her footing again not too long after and made the difficult decision to retire with the scores tied at 3-3.
A visibly emotional Serena struggled to the net to shake hands with her opponent before waving to the crowds as she hobbled out of court to a standing ovation.
The match immediately followed that of Roger Federer and Adrian Mannarino which had also ended in a retirement for Mannarino after falling on Centre Court.
Serena had been hoping to win the elusive 24th Grand Slam title that would put her even with the all time record of major wins held by Margaret Court.
She had already confirmed she wouldn’t be taking part in the Tokyo Olympics, but will now hope the injury isn’t too severe to keep her out of the US Open.
We’re heartbroken for you, Serena.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) June 29, 2021
Her young opponent, Sasnovich, praised Serena and the crowd in her post-match on-court interview.
“It was so nice of an atmosphere out here and it was my first time playing on Centre Court. I’m so sad for Serena,” Sasnovich said.
“She’s a great champion. It happens sometimes in tennis, but [I’m wishing] all the best for her for the best recovery.”
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