Serena Williams Said She's "Heartbroken" After Retiring From A Match With Injury. Now Wimbledon Is Facing Backlash For Putting Players In Danger.

"Why are they putting the athletes in so much danger?"

It was heartbreak for Serena Williams on Tuesday after the 23-time Grand Slam champion was forced to retire from her first round match at Wimbledon due to injury.

Serena Williams lunges for a ball while playing her first-round match at Wimbledon

The seven-time Wimbledon champion had come into the tournament as a potential favorite for the title, and looked to be in good form during the opening games of her first match.

Serena Williams walks on court in a white dress and train before her first-round match at Wimbledon

But Williams appeared to slip on the grass after 20 minutes of play and, after a medical timeout and then falling to the floor in agony once play resumed, she was forced to retire from the match.

Serena Williams falls to the ground during first round match at Wimbledon

The withdrawal was all the more devastating for Williams as many assumed this could potentially be her last run at one of her favorite tournaments.

Serena Williams waves goodbye to the crowd after retiring due to injury

"I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg," Williams wrote on Instagram following the match. "My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful."

Serena Williams tries to hold back tears as she stands next to the umpire after injuring her right leg during her match

But Williams wasn't the only player to retire with injury after taking a slip on centre court. In an eerily similar moment that would foreshadow Williams' match, French player Adrian Mannarino slipped in almost the exact same spot while duking it out against Roger Federer.

Adrian Mannarino is on the ground in visible pain during his match against Roger Federer

This brought into question the playing conditions on arguably the most prestigious court in tennis, with other players such as Andy Murray voicing their opinions on the slippery surface.

Serena Williams cries in pain as she falls to the ground during her first-round match at Wimbledon.

Many spectators voiced their own criticism of the court's surface, pointing out that other players such as Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff had also slipped multiple times during their own matches.

Coco Gauff steadies herself as she slips during her first-round match at Wimbledon

With many critizing the tournament for potentially putting its players in danger of injury, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that they were "happy with the conditions" despite the complaints.

Roger Federer looks on with concern at the net as Adrian Mannarino lies on the ground after slipping on the grass

The statement went on to add that the dismal weather had played a part in the court's surface being more slippery than usual, but that the grass would "firm up" as the tournament progressed.

The centre court at Wimbledon.

While we wait for confirmation of Williams' condition following her injury, the rest of her season looks uncertain. Having already pulled out of the Olympics before Wimbledon, it's likely her focus will now turn to the US Open at the end of August.

Serena Williams looks to the sky as she fights back tears after injuring herself

Topics in this article

Skip to footer