Seven-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams retired from her opening-round match versus Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to injury Tuesday.
While tied 3-3 in the first set, Williams appeared to tweak her left knee while slipping on a wet patch of grass.
It’s only the second time in Williams’ distinguished career that she’s retired from a Grand Slam due to injury. She previously pulled out of the third round of Wimbledon in 1998 with a leg injury.
Williams, the sixth seed, entered the 2021 tournament one Grand Slam singles title shy of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 22. However, the 39-year-old hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the Australian Open in 2017, and the most recent of her seven Wimbledon victories came in 2016.
The state of the playing surfaces at the All England Club came under fire prior to Williams’ shocking retirement. Frenchman Adrian Mannarino withdrew from his match versus Roger Federer under identical circumstances – slipping and straining his knee on Centre Court – earlier Tuesday.