A tearful Serena Williams retired from her opening Wimbledon match Tuesday, limping off Center Court after slipping on the grass while planting her leg for a forehand return. She was in the fifth game of the first set against Aliaksandra Sasnovich when she was injured. Williams took a medical timeout for treatment lasting about 10 minutes, then returned to the court, Yahoo Sports reports. She won a couple of points, though her movement was limited, biting her lip and covering her face between points, per the AP. But after a winner from Sasnovich flew by her, Williams fell to her knees in pain, per the Independent. The fans cheered her as she walked to the net to shake hands with Sasnovich, ending her tournament, and she waved to them as she left the court.
Williams, who had already announced she wouldn't be competing in the Tokyo Olympics next month, was seeking her eighth Wimbledon championship and 24th Grand Slam title, which would have tied the record. The injury, to her left leg, prompted her to leave Wimbledon early for the second time; the first was in 1998. "Center Court is extremely slippy out there," tweeted Andy Murray, a fellow Wimbledon champion. The score was 3-all when Williams, 39, retired. Williams was the second player to exit after slipping on Center Court on Tuesday. Roger Federer's opponent, Adrian Mannarino, was similarly injured, per ESPN. "You do have to move very, very carefully out there," Federer said afterward, adding, "This is obviously terrible." (Read more Serena Williams stories.)