Serena Williams made a tearful exit from the 2021 Wimbledon Championship after her latest attempt for an elusive record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title was cruelly ended by injury.
Williams had heavy strapping on her right thigh in her match against Belarusian world number 100 Aliaksandra Sasnovich and appeared to aggravate the injury when she slipped in the fifth game.
The 39-year-old went down again in the seventh game and then retired after struggling to get to her feet.
“I’m so sad for Serena. She is a great champion,” said Sasnovich.
“It happens sometimes in tennis, but all the best to her.”
It is yet another painful exit for the sixth-seeded American legend at SW19.
Williams lost to Simona Halep in the 2019 final and also finished runner-up to Germany’s Angelique Kerber the year before. She had hoped this would finally be the time that she won her 24th Grand Slam.
But she has so far failed to match the number won by Australian Margaret and has lost four major finals since returning from maternity leave three years ago.