No.6 seed Serena Williams exits The Championships during her first round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with a leg injury.

American legend Serena Williams’s dreams of winning an eighth Wimbledon singles title and equalling Margaret Court’s Grand Slam singles record of 24 ended in tears on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old was leading 3-1 in the first set of her first round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus when she slipped and had to have her left ankle examined. Williams returned from receiving medical attention but called it a day at 3-3 and walked off Centre Court in tears. It is the first time that Williams has bowed out in the first round of Wimbledon.

She is a seven-time singles champion at the All England Club, including most recently in 2016. Williams also was the runner-up at Wimbledon each of the last two times it was contested, in 2018 and 2019, before the tournament was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Notably, Serena confirmed earlier this week that she will miss the Tokyo Olympics. The gold medal winner from London 2012 has not won a major title since winning the Australian Open in 2017.

The No.6 seed had arrived on court with both ankles and her right thigh heavily bandaged. From her first service game, it was clear Serena had “her head in” and “her game on”. As she had said on the eve of the tournament, acknowledging the depth of talent in the women’s game, “You really have to show up now. There’s no longer matches that are going to be a sure walk-through.”

I AM SO SAD FOR SERENA. SHE’S A GREAT CHAMPION, BUT THIS HAPPENS SOMETIMES IN TENNIS. I WISH ALL THE BEST FOR HER, AND A GOOD RECOVERY.” ALIAKSANDRA SASNOVICH

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