Injured Serena Williams makes tearful early exit
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion from the US, was forced to retire from Wimbledon due to an injury in her first-round match against Belarusian AliaksandraSasnovich here.
LONDON: Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion from the US, was forced to retire from Wimbledon due to an injury in her first-round match against Belarusian AliaksandraSasnovich here.
Arriving on court with her right thigh heavily strapped, the No.6 seed was leading Aliaksandra by a break in the first set at 3-1. Serving at 15-15, Serena slipped briefly at the back of the court and was finally forced to retire in the seventh game.
While she never fell to the ground, Serena requested for a physio after losing serve in the fifth game, and received off-court medical timeout before returning to the court.
Upon resumption, Aliaksandra held serve in the sixth game to level 3-3, but the match ended shortly after as Serena made the decision to retire and left the centre court to a standing ovation.
"I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg," Serena said in an Instagram post late on Tuesday night.
"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."
Serena had previously been 19-0 in the first round of Wimbledon. It is just her second career retirement in a Grand Slam match, dating back to her first against Spain's Virginia RuanoPascual in the third round of Wimbledon in 1998.
"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," Aliaksandra said on-court. "She's a great champion. It happens sometimes in tennis, but (I'm wishing) all the best for her for the best recovery. (IANS)