Serena Williams became the latest casualty at Wimbledon after an ankle injury forced her to withdraw from her first round match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The seven-time All England Club singles winner was serving in Game 5 on center court when she lost her footing near the baseline with a forehand.
Williams winced and walked cautiously between the dots, clearly confused.
After giving up this game, she took a medical time out and tried to continue playing.
A crying Williams bit her upper lip and covered her face between the stitches, the crowd doing their best to offer support and encouragement.
But eventually the 39-year-old American fell to her knees and the chair umpire came to see her.
Williams, who was trying to match Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles, then pushed his way to the net to shake hands with Sasnovich, conceding the score 3-3, 15-30.
Officially, it will go on the books as the second Grand Slam outing in the first round of Williams’ career.
At 39, she was still a tournament favorite after finishing second in 2018 and 2019.
She is following a number of other big players to make an early exit from Wimbledon this year, which is back with spectators after being called off in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Britain’s number one Johanna Konta had to retire on the eve of the tournament after a a member of his team tested positive for coronavirus.
His exit came after Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka had previously withdrawn from the SW19 tournament.
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This notice was published: 2021-06-29 19:22:00