23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams was forced to hand a walkover in the first round of Wimbledon 2021 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich at 3-3 in the first set after she slipped on the grass and was limping all over the court. She received medical treatment off court but that wasn’t enough. Serena tried to stay continue for a game but all was done for her.
A teary eyed Serena thanked the fans and couldn’t control her emotions as she walked off the court amidst standing ovation from the centre court crowd. Serena couldn’t believe her fate, nor could her team in the box.
Serena isn’t the first player to have such a devastating end to the tournament. Just before her match, Adrian Mannarino also slipped on the grass in his match against Roger Federer. The Frenchman too had to retire after the fourth set.
Williams was looking good early on. She was serving well and her movement too didn’t seem rusty. But the poor court conditions didn’t bode well and it was absolutely not her fault for her exit.
Even Andy Murray took to twitter to share Serena’s feelings and added that the centre court is very slippery this time. “Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there.”
Injury scare for players at the centre court
The centre courts at Wimbledon this year haven’t been particularly supportive of the players. They are pretty damp because of the continuous rain and the closed roofs only adds up to the moisture on the grass. Many players have tripped on the grass sometime or the other including Novak Djokovic himself.
Although Djokovic wasn’t particularly injured in any sorts, Mannarino and Williams were forced to retire due to the state of their injury. Mannarino injured his knee pretty badly and was limping in pain. Same was the case for Serena, who was visibly in so much pain.
Seeing the players retire in such bad shape due to the court conditions is an absolute shame and the organizers will look into it to fix the issue as soon as possible to avoid future scares.