Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon. She came on court to face Aliaksandra Sasnovich for her first round match with heavy strapping on her upper right leg. She received medical treatment after five games and came back out to try again but was forced to retire during the seventh game with the score at 3-3. Part of the injury seemed to stem from a slip behind the baseline (on the same side of the court that Adrian Mannarino injured himself by slipping on). But without more information as to what precisely caused the injury, we shouldn’t speculate what precisely happened.
The mid-match retirement is just the second in Williams’ illustrious and lengthy career at the Grand Slams. The last one came over two decades ago, at Wimbledon in 1998.
Tears on the baseline
She seemed to be fighting back tears while standing on the baseline trying to serve. The Centre Court crowd tried to encourage her with shouts of “We love you Serena” but she was clearly in great pain. She thanked the crowd for their encouragement through the tears but she was clearly unable to move across the baseline.
Williams had started the match in brilliant form and broke the Belarusian’s serve right at the beginning of the first set. However, it was clear that load bearing on her upper thigh was just impossible. Her forehand was putting too much strain on her and serving became a real issue.
The Wimbledon crowd were clearly distraught by the scenes but Williams showed real warrior spirit in trying to continue. Only the intervention of an official seemed to finally signal to Williams that her time on the court was up. Williams finally retired from the match after she screamed in pain while trying to move towards a relatively routine ball.
Serena Williams is in tears as she serves at 3-3.
She falls again, and retires.
She is in floods of tears as she waves to the crowd.
This absolutely cannot be how her #Wimbledon career ends. It can't. She HAS to come back.
She has to. pic.twitter.com/FQiRgemkda
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) June 29, 2021
Is this the end of Serena Williams at Wimbledon?
Will this be the last time that Serena Williams graces the hallowed court at SW19? Rumors about an impending retirement have plagued the all-time great since her loss at the Australian Open. Again, it’s too soon and unfair to speculate. But it would be such a shame if it was to go out in such a way, face down on the green turf that she has dominated for almost two decades. The dominating presence will be the way she would be remembered by all.
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