Serena Williams had a turbulent year when it came to her health in 2021.
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During Wimbledon last year, the 40-year-old was forced to withdraw from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich due to a leg injury, after having to take some medical time out during the match. It was later revealed she had suffered a torn hamstring.
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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.
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 Williams is back on the courts at Wimbledon in 2022
Serena, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, went on to confirm that she would not be participating in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, and she was also forced to pull out of the US Open in July 2021.
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Ahead of the US Open, Serena referred to her hamstring injury on Instagram, writing: "After careful consideration and following the advice of my doctors and medical team, I have decided to withdraw from the US Open to allow my body to heal completely from a torn hamstring."
Serena suffers from a sinus condition
Serena revealed in mid-June 2022 that she would be appearing at Wimbledon, writing on Instagram: "SW at SW19. It's a date. 2022 See you there."
Since getting back into competing, Serena has regularly been seen wearing black plasters on her face, leading fans to wonder what they are.
According to The Times, the black tape is to relieve pressure and pain from a longstanding sinus problem the player has.
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