During Tuesday’s first-round match against Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Williams suffered a leg injury and was forced to stop playing, making it only the second time in her career that she had to retire from a major match.
She opened up about having to leave the court in an Instagram post.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg. My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful. Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on – and off – the court meant the world to me,” she wrote.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, slipped on the grass while hitting a forehand during the fifth game. After suffering the injury, it was visible on Williams’ face that she was in pain, and she went to the locker room following a loss in that game.
She attempted to keep playing but the pain was too much.
Williams was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2018 and 2019. The event didn’t take place last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. She last won a major in 2017.
Fox News’ Dan Canova and the AP contributed to this report.