Serena Williams withdrew from Wimbledon during her first-round match with a leg injury. She dreams of winning an eighth Wimbledon singles title and totalling Margaret Court's Grand Slam singles record of 24, but the dreams shattered on Tuesday.
The 39-year-old was leading 3-1 in the first set of her first round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus when she slipped and had to have her left ankle examined.
Williams returned from receiving medical attention but called it a day at 3-3 and walked off Centre Court in tears. It is the first time that Williams has bowed out in the first round of Wimbledon.
She played the whole match with her right thigh fully wrapped, returned and played one full game before retiring. Williams was seen clutching the back of her wrapped upper right thigh.
She posted on social media “I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg.” She added “My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful. Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on – and off – the court meant the world to me.”
Williams is a seven-time Wimbledon champion who reached the final in her last four appearances at the All England Club. She is a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, exited in the first round for the second time in 79 career majors (2012 French Open).
Before learning of Williams’ retirement, Federer said he thought the court was playing normally “I do feel it feels a tad more slippery maybe under the roof,” he said. He added “I don’t know if it’s just a gut feeling. You do have to move very, very carefully out there. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down.”
Also Tuesday, Venus Williams became the fourth-oldest woman to win a Wimbledon singles match.