Serena Williams retires from Wimbledon after suffering ankle injury

29 June 2021, 20:34 | Updated: 29 June 2021, 21:03

Serena Williams was forced to retire after injuring her ankle.
Serena Williams was forced to retire after injuring her ankle. Picture: PA

By Emma Soteriou

Serena Williams' hopes of an eighth Wimbledon title are over after an ankle injury forced the world number eight to retire from her first-round match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The seven-time singles' winner at the All England Club slipped in the sixth game and left the Centre Court for treatment.

She returned 10 minutes later but after getting emotional at the reception afforded to her by the crowd, the pain was evident on Williams' face as she tried to serve to her Belarusian opponent.

After the best efforts of the 39-year-old, she had to call it quits and was helped off court in tears.

Opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich said courtside: "I am so sad for Serena. She is a great champion. It happens sometimes in tennis, but all the best to her for her recovery."

Williams' pursuit of a record-equalling 24th grand slam is, once again, on hold, and she will not be joining her older sister in the second round.

Earlier this month, Williams confirmed she would not compete at the Olympics in Tokyo and her focus would be on recovering in time for the US Open later in the year.

Read more: Naomi Osaka withdraws from French Open and will 'take some time away' from tennis

Opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich wished Williams the best for her recovery.
Opponent Aliaksandra Sasnovich wished Williams the best for her recovery. Picture: PA

This comes not long after Adrian Mannarino was forced to retire on Centre Court against Roger Federer after he slipped.

Mannarino injured his right knee, bringing the game to an end after the fourth set.

Federer said: "It's awful. It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career. I wish him all the best and I hope he recovers soon.

"He could have won the match, he was the better player, so I got a bit lucky.

"You don't get many walkovers throughout a career. I'm obviously happy I can get another chance for a match here.

"I worked very hard and I enjoyed myself out here until the end."

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