US player Serena Williams reacts as she withdraws from her women’s singles first-round match against Belarus’s Aliaksandra Sasnovich on the second day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 29, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
American legend Serena Williams’s dreams of winning an eighth Wimbledon singles title and equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam singles record of 24 ended in tears 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.
The tears said it all as with the withdrawals of 2019 champion Simona Halep and of Naomi Osaka prior to the tournament the American would have fancied her chances of at last equalling the controversial Court’s landmark.
Williams was giving the Olympics a miss anyways giving her time to recover ahead of the US Open in September which she has won six times.
“Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there,” tweeted British star Andy Murray.
Williams, who also had strapping on her right thigh, hasn’t won a Slam since the 2017 Australian Open.
US player Serena Williams reacts as she pulls-up injured before withdrawing from her women’s singles first-round match against Belarus’s Aliaksandra Sasnovich on the second day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 29, 2021. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
William’s slip came at the same end of the court as that of Adrian Mannarino which brought a premature end to the Frenchman’s hard-fought match with Roger Federer.
Mannarino slipped and fell late in the fourth set and pulled out at the beginning of the fifth set.
Federer remarked he felt that the surface was more slippery when the roof is in use which it had been due to rain earlier on Tuesday.