Serena Williams’ Wimbledon has come to an unfortunate early ending. The American tennis star suffered a leg injury in her first-round matchup against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Williams slipped and fell on the slick Centre Court grass at Wimbledon. She attempted to play through her service game with the match tied at 3-3 in the first set, but she couldn’t go on.
As a result, she retired from the match, allowing Sasnovich to advance.
The grass at Wimbledon has drawn quite a bit of attention during the first two days of the tournament, especially on Centre Court. Plenty of players have been slipping on the surface, as rain has made the courts unusually slick.
Several tennis stars have spoken about the issue. Men’s world No. 1 Novak Djokovic joked about the conditions on the court after his four-set win over Jack Draper.
“To be honest I don’t recall falling this many times on the court,” Djokovic said.
And in the wake of Williams’ exit, British fan-favorite Andy Murray also took a shot at the court.
Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there.
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) June 29, 2021
Roger Federer’s match, which took place immediately before WIlliams’, was also affected by a slip. The No. 6 player in the tournament emerged with a victory after his opponent, Adrian Mannarino, retired ahead of the fifth set.
Even despite that, Federer was in shock after Williams’ early exit.
“Oh my God, I can’t believe it,” Federer said after he was told of the news at his press conference, per Mike McIntyre.
Meanwhile, other devastated tennis fans took to Twitter to send their well wishes to Williams — and to let Wimbledon know about the problems that their slick grass is causing.
There is no athlete I root harder for than Serena Williams. NO ONE. So this was shocking and heartbreaking to watch. She’s OUT of #Wimbledon in the first round. Just happened. Tried to fight through an injury, in tears, but couldn’t continue.
— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) June 29, 2021
Serena Williams was forced to retire in the first round of #Wimbledon after sustaining an apparent injury.
It’s only the second time in her career that she’s retired from a major match. pic.twitter.com/0po8zSbhT5
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 29, 2021
Centre court is a safety hazard, sort it out.
— Gavin Hugill (@gav_26) June 29, 2021
Fix your courts 🤬
— roger winerer 🎾🎾 (@failedcupcakes) June 29, 2021
with this condition there will be more injuries to players. Fix the court!
— Henry Thonger (@henrythonger) June 29, 2021
Dry the courts! The conditions are unplayable! Y’all are responsible for this #Wimbledon
— John Thrasher 🏳️🌈 (@jthrasher) June 29, 2021
Serena Williams will forever be the GOAT 🐐! Thank you for inspiring a generation of young black women & girls. We love you Champ!!! 🎾🏆@serenawilliams
— olivia pope ღ (@chelseatocool) June 29, 2021
We’ll soon see if the conditions improve at Wimbledon, but with Williams out for the tournament, the damage has already been done.