Serena Williams withdrew from Wimbledon during her first-round match with a leg injury. Williams, after slipping behind the baseline on an earlier point, was broken by Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus to get back on serve in the first set at 3-2. She limped toward her chair, was looked at by a trainer and left Centre Court during an injury timeout.
It was the first set of her first-round match Tuesday at Wimbledon, and Williams knew this stay at a tournament where she has won seven of her 23 Grand Slam singles titles was about to end because she hurt her right leg when she lost her footing behind a baseline. Williams, playing the whole match with her right thigh fully wrapped, returned and played one full game before retiring. Sasnovich won it. Williams was in tears to start the next game on serve, dropped to the court on the third point and retired. She spun and waved to the crowd as she left the court to applause, then buckled over as she neared an exit that’s out of full view to the crowd. Williams was grabbing the back of her wrapped upper right thigh.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg,” was posted on her social media two hours later. “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.” Sasnovich said the court felt “very slippery.”