'Heartbroken' Serena Williams breaks her silence after sudden Wimbledon withdrawal

The Wimbledon star has suffered a leg injury

Serena Williams has revealed she has been left "heartbroken" following her premature Wimbledon departure on Tuesday. The 39-year-old was forced to withdraw from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to a leg injury.

During the match, the mum-of-one had to take some medical time out. She returned to the game but appeared to be in too much pain to carry on. Despite having to withdraw from the competition, a tearful Serena received a standing ovation from the crowd.

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"I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg," she later wrote on Instagram. "My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful.

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"Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on - and off - the court meant the world to me."

Fellow tennis players were full of support, with Andy Murray tweeting: "Brutal for Serena Williams but the centre court is extremely slippy out there". Serena's opponent, Aliaksandra, said: "I'm so sad for Serena. She is a great champion, it happens sometimes in tennis, but all the best to her."

Serena withdrew from Wimbledon on Tuesday

Serena, seven-time Wimbledon champion, has already confirmed that she will not be participating in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. It is yet to be seen whether the sports star will return to full fitness ahead of another Grand Slam at the US Open.

Her exit comes shortly after British player Johanna Konta had to withdraw after she came in close contact with someone with coronavirus. France's Adrian Mannarino also had to retire from his match against Roger Federer following an injury.

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