Serena Williams had an unfortunate return to the All-England Club as she was forced to retire in the 1st set itself of her 1st round match at the Wimbledon 2021.
Serena who was up against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the 1st round slipped on the court hurting her leg and was limping as she got on the sides of the court to get some medical attention, but the damage was done. Serena could play only 1 more game before having to withdraw in tears as the 7-time Champion had an unfortunate exit at the Championships.
Serena walked off the court in tears as the crowd on the Centre Court gave her a standing ovation for trying her best to play in injury and for being a true fighter. While Serena didn’t attend the post match press conference possibly due to her injury, she did release a statement expressing her feelings and thanking the fans for their love and support.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg. 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.” read a statement released by Serena.
Centre Court comes under scrutiny after 2 forced withdrawals due to slipping
Serena’s match was the final match for the day to be played on the Centre Court. Ashleigh Barty started the proceedings on the Centre Court on Day 2 of the Championships as she played Spaniard Carla Navvaro. Their match had been interrupted by rain and the roof came into play which helped the match not being much delayed.
Following Barty’s match, Roger Federer and Adrian Mannarino were scheduled to play on the Centre Court. Their match was also cut short as Adrian slipped and injured his knee which led to his untimely withdrawal at the end of the 4th set after he won the 2nd and 3rd set to put pressure on Federer.
While all the players did comment about the slipperiness on the Centre Court, it will now be up to the tournament officials at Wimbledon how they make amendments after seeing two players injuring themselves in successive games at the Centre Court which is certain to host the all the semi-finals and the finals of the tournament.