Serena Williams ‘heartbroken’ after withdrawal from Wimbledon

Serena Williams sobbed as she left the court after sustaining an injury to her right leg that caused her to withdraw from Wimbledon.

For the first time in 20 appearances, Serena Williams has bowed out in the first round of Wimbledon after slipping on the baseline early in the first set of her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

She returned from receiving medical attention but called it quits shortly after and walked off Centre Court in tears as she waved goodbye to the crowd, who gave her a huge wave of applause.

Serena Williams wimbledon withdrawal
Image: Getty Images

I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg,” said Williams on Instagram.

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.

Williams had her sights set on earning her eighth Wimbledon singles title this year, which would have equalled Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams.

Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou told New York Times that the injury sustained was to the “top of the hamstring“.

Multiple players, including Novak Djokovic, had slipped several times on Centre Court, prompting Wimbledon to address the safety of its iconic grass courts.

Roger Federer won his match after Adrian Mannarino took a tumble early in the fifth set of their round one clash, injuring his knee.

The court definitely feels slippery to me,” said Mannarino.

I wasn’t able to change directions, wasn’t comfortable with that. Definitely not the best sensations since the beginning of the match.

Andy Murray weighed in, tweeting: “Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there.”

Fans and other players are taking to social media to voice their sadness for Williams, who hasn’t won a Grand Slam since the 2017 Australian Open.