The 23-time Major champion Serena Williams will not remember her 20th Wimbledon campaign for too long. The seven-time All England Club champion had to retire in the seventh game of her first-round clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to an injury, leaving the court in tears after an emotional retirement, her first at Wimbledon since 1998!
Struggling with her movement, Serena fell on the ground in the seventh game and couldn't continue despite trying her best. In the previous match on the Centre Court, Adrian Mannarino injured his knee against Roger Federer while leading two sets to one, retiring at the beginning of the decider to end his dreams of beating an eight-time winner.
Roger heard the news about Serena during his press conference and couldn't believe how unfortunate she was, especially after Adrian's victory that sent the Swiss through. Federer had to battle hard against the Frenchman to force a decider, winning the first and fourth sets for 6-4, 6-7, 3-6, 6-2 when Mannarino quit.
The Swiss fired 53 winners and 45 unforced errors and converted four out of 13 break chances to hang in there and keep himself in contention after a solid performance in set number four before Adrian's injury. An eight-time winner didn't look that good in the previous sets, missing a lot and failing to impose his shots.
The Swiss won the opener with a late break in game ten thanks to a backhand crosscourt winner. Roger survived two break points in the second set's fifth game and fought well despite many errors to reach a tie break that could have sent him further in front.
Serena Williams retired at Wimbledon, just like Roger Federer's rival.
Adrian made a strong start in the tie break with three return points and closed it with a service winner at 6-3. They traded breaks in games two and three in set number three, and Mannarino grabbed another at love in game six to move in front.
A left-hander closed it with a volley winner at 5-3 to move a set away from the finish line. Federer bounced back to gain a 4-2 lead in the fourth set before Mannarino slipped in the seventh game's second point to injure his knee and call for a medical timeout.
Roger grabbed another break in the eighth game to close the set, and the Frenchman retired at the beginning of the fifth, unable to move or endure an entire set. "Come on! As I was walking out, the referee asked me how I was feeling about the court.
I said I think the court plays normally as we know it. It feels a tad more slippery under the roof, maybe. I don't know if it's just a gut feeling, and you do have to move very careful out there. But this is obviously terrible what happened to Serena.
That it's back-to-back matches, and it hits Serena as well. Oh my God, I can't believe it," Roger Federer said.