Serena Williams is not happy about leaving Wimbledon early. On Tuesday, the 39-year-old tennis superstar withdrew from her Wimbledon match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich after suffering a leg injury and was forced to stop playing. She then went to Instagram to share her feelings about not being able to compete.
"I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg," Williams wrote in the Instagram post. "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."
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Williams suffered the injury after slipping on the grass while hitting a forehand during the fifth game. She attempted to play through the injury, but the pain was too much. The match was played at Centre Court which is only used for Wimbledon. This means the court is in great condition, but players can have a hard time getting their footing down in the early stages of the tournament.
"Those first two matches are always extremely difficult, eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer said, per ESPN. "But it's always been like this. I feel for a lot of players, it's super-key to get through those first two rounds because the grass is more slippery, it is more soft. As the tournament progresses, usually [the court] gets harder and easier to move on."
We're heartbroken for you, Serena.June 29, 2021
Weather also played a factor as Wimbledon saw rain the first two days. "The weather conditions on the opening two days have been the wettest we have experienced in almost a decade, which has required the roof to be closed on Centre Court and No.1 Court for long periods," The All England Club said in a statement. "This is at a time when the grass plant is at its most lush and green, which does result in additional moisture on what is a natural surface."
Williams was looking to win her eighth Wimbledon title and first since 2016. She has won 23 Grand Slam championships but was looking to win her first one since 2017. Willliams' injury comes shortly after her announcing she will not compete in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.