The 23-time Major winner Serena Williams had a short Wimbledon campaign last year. The seven-time champion retired in the seventh game of her first-round clash against Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to an injury. The American left the court in tears after her first Wimbledon retirement since 1998!
Struggling with her movement, Serena fell to the ground in the seventh game and could not 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 and retired at the beginning of the decider.
Roger heard the news about Serena during his press conference and could not believe how unfortunate she was, especially after Adrian’s injury 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. An eight-time winner did not look good in the third set, 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 the last year’s Wimbledon.
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 at 3-2 to move in front.
A left-hander closed the set with a volley winner at 5-3 and moved closer to a massive victory. Federer bounced back and gained 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 stay competitive until the end. “Come on! As I walked out, the referee asked me how I felt about the court.
I said I think the court plays normally. It feels a tad more slippery under the roof, maybe. I do not know if it’s just a gut feeling, and you have to move very carefully. But this is terrible what happened to Serena. That it’s back-to-back matches, and it hits Serena as well. Oh my God, I can not believe it,” Roger Federer said.