Drawn against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, former WTA number one and seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams had to withdraw from the most important tournament in the world on a score of 3-3 in the first set, when a bad fall cost her the match.
This is the first ever elimination for the American in the opening match at Wimbledon, she who at most had lost in the third round (last time in 2014). Serena, who hasn't won a Grand Slam title since 2017 and has lost her last four major career finals, played this year's semi-final at the Australian Open, before being stopped with a score of 6-3 6-4 by the Japanese Naomi Osaka.
On the occasion of her debut on the grass of Wimbledon 2021, as also published by the EssentiallySports website, former American WTA tennis champion Chris Evert praised her countrywoman Serena.
Chris Evert: "Margaret Court's record? Serena Williams is the GOAT"
She said: "A tournament that has won seven times, deep down she knows well that there is no they are better or more experienced players than her on grass.
This is her best hope." Commenting instead on her withdrawal from Wimbledon 2021, Evert said: “I can't believe how bitterly disappointed she can be, same for her family and her fans. For me, her legacy is already sealed.
If she never wins a Grand Slam tournament again, if she can't match Margaret Court's record, it doesn't matter. She is always the greatest of all." Serena's last success on the London lawns dates back to 2016, when she overtook Angelique Kerber in the final in two sets.
The German then took her revenge two years later when she beat Williams with a double 6-3 in the last game. Still in the race the world number one Ashleigh Barty, who after the victory over Carla Suarez Navarro will now face the Russian Anna Blinkova.
Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova beat Clara Tauson and will play agaionst the WTA Tour veteran Andrea Petkovic.