The All England Club witnessed a great slip on Tuesday as Serena Williams, chasing a 24th Grand Slam title sipped on the court and had to retire with an ankle injury in her first-round match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The slip happened with Serena leading 3-1 but she tried to battle on but at 3-3, she had to give up.
When she waved to the crowd, it looked like a long goodbye. Will the seven-time Wimbledon champion be seen on the grass at SW-9 ever again?
Meanwhile, another Wimbledon and tennis icon, Roger Federer had an injury to thank as Adrian Mannarino withdrew after almost four sets, in which Mannarino had won the second and third sets but suffered a fall on the wet grass and then stopped playing in the first game of the deciding fifth set.
“I just slid down as it was really slippery,” Mannarino said afterward. “I heard a big crack and I knew straight away that I wouldn’t be able to do anything anymore.”
Federer, reacting to Serena’s fall and withdrawal said, “This is obviously terrible that it’s back-to-back matches and it hits Serena as well. Oh, my God, I can’t believe it”.
The match between Mannarino and Federer took place just before Serena’s match with Sasnovich started. Federer added, “You do have to move very, very carefully out there. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down.”
The British player, Andy Murray also joined the chorus of the slippy Wimbledon surface in his reaction on Twitter. “Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there.”
There have been many high-profile withdrawals from the third Grand Slam tournament of the year, with many citing rehabilitation from physical and mental injuries.
The likes of Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, Milos Raonic, and David Goffin are all absent from England because of one form of injury or another.
Meanwhile, Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten in the first round by Francis Tiafoe in three straight sets of 6-4 6-4 6-3. Tsitsipas, the French Open finalist.
At the post-match press conference, Tsitsipas revealed the transition from clay to grass is an onerous one.
“The transition from clay to grass, in my opinion, is probably the most difficult one, if not the biggest challenge in our sport. I just wasn’t able to adapt.”
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