On an extremely slippery center court at Wimbledon this year, things are not looking bright for the top players who will be scheduled to play there in the coming days at SW19. Serena Williams, who was seeking her 24th Grand Slam title, had a quick 3-1 lead in the first set against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, before calling the coach after sustaining a minor ankle injury.
Even though she returned to the court after a few minutes, the American clearly looked sore as she struggled to serve and fell onto the court, crying. It was heartbreaking to see a champion, who gave so much to the sport, give up a match and retire midway.
The crowd in the center court took a while to understand what had just happened, as most of them remained in utter disbelief. Thus, Serena Williams' grass court campaign came to an end in the most unfortunate way. After the game, there were reactions of empathy and encouragement for Serena as the fans wished her a speedy return at the US Open.
Along with tennis fans, players like Andy Murray and Roger Federer also reacted to this sudden retirement of the 23-time Grand Slam champion. “Brutal for Serena Williams, but the center court is extremely slippery. It's not easy to move,” the two-time Wimbledon champion tweeted.
After surviving a bizarre match against Adrian Mannarino, Roger Federer also opined that the court was extremely slippery in his post-match press conference. Likewise, the Swiss teacher felt bad for Serena when he was informed of the unfortunate incident during his press.
Here's Federer's take on center court nature this year at SW19. "The court feels a bit more slippery under the roof, I move more carefully, it is terrible that there are games back to back and that it has also hit Serena," the Swiss teacher mentioned in the press.
As Serena walked off the court, she received a standing ovation from the crowd when she was fired from her and hoped to see her on the same court next year. The outfield folks on the Wimbledon Center court will have a question or two to answer due to the two debacles witnessed by fans in a single day.
Even Novak Djokovic fell a few times during his first round match against Jack Draper yesterday. The Wimbledon Championship has already suffered many setbacks in the early days. With the crowds filling all the courts, it will be a remarkable turnout during the remaining days at the most prestigious grand slam of the year.
Roger Federer narrowly overcame the challenge of Adrian Mannarino
Richard Gasquet believes Roger Federer is now a shadow of his former all-conquering self and thus fancies his chances against the Swiss in their second-round clash at Wimbledon.
The Frenchman asserted he remains "very motivated" to take down Federer, whom he has beaten only twice in his career. "Certainly he (Roger Federer) is worse (than before), there is no doubt but me too," Gasquet said during his press conference.
"I'm like him, even though he's older than me, we're at the end of our careers. I think there are things to do and I'm going very, very motivated to try to win this game. When we go on the court, it's to win."
According to Gasquet, the fact that Mannarino gave a stern test to Roger Federer indicates the Swiss is not as good as he once was. "He is not as good as before but I am also weaker than before," he added. "Adrian has bothered him so it's because he is worse off than before after he will certainly play better on the second round. I will try to make a great game."