Boris Becker exposes brutal truth about Serena Williams' exit

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Boris Becker (left) fears Serena Williams (right) may not appear at Wimbledon again in her career.
Tennis great Boris Becker fears Serena Williams may have played her last ever game at Wimbledon, after the 39-year-old slipped and injured herself in her first round match earlier this week. Pictures: Getty Images

Tennis legend Boris Becker fears Serena Williams may have played her last ever match at Wimbledon following the US superstar's shock first round withdrawal.

Williams, a 23-time grand slam winner, slipped while leading 3-1 in the first set of her opening round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

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Despite getting treatment, Williams was unable to continue after 3-3, cruelly forced to prematurely end what many had hoped would be a signature campaign at the All-England Club.

She was one of several high-profile players to come to grief with a surface many players believe is slower and slipperier than previous years.

Wimbledon officials have put the unpredictable surface down to heavy rain which has fallen across England over recent weeks.

Becker, a six-time grand slam champion, feared Williams had not been able to enjoy the farewell to Wimbledon she deserved.

“It’s the last thing that a champion like Serena wants to do - leave her favourite courts with a walkover.

“She can barely walk straight. We’ve got to get used to the fact that this might be the last time.

“She is past 30. It’s another year of coming back, injuries, wear-and-tear, she also had an injury at the French Open.

“It is sad to see but time waits for no man or woman.

“The courts seem to be a little bit slippery this year, a number of players have been complaining.

"Her left ankle went one way, her right leg went sideways. She must have strained whatever injury she already had. Unfortunately she had to quit."

Williams waved to all four corners of the centre court crowd before leaving the arena after withdrawing from the match.

The world No.8's quest to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam wins remains stalled on 23, with her most recent singles win coming at the 2017 Australian Open.

Wimbledon players left fuming over slipper Centre Court

Novak Djokovic landed on his backside twice early in the first match played on Centre Court at Wimbledon this week. He was no worse for the wear.

Roger Federer's opponent on Day 2, Adrian Mannarino, lost his footing in the main stadium, too, but he was not so lucky: The Frenchman's 33rd birthday ended with a twisted knee and a loss, because he was too hurt to keep playing.

Williams went down in almost the exact same spot Mannarino did, with all of those contests played with the arena's retractable roof shut because of rain.

And that - rather any sort of change to the grass itself as the oldest grand slam tournament returns after being cancelled a year ago, early in the pandemic - is what the All England Club blames for how slippery the surface has been during what it says were the wettest two opening days of Wimbledon "in almost a decade."

Serena Williams was 'heartbroken' after an injury sustained in her first round match at Wimbledon forced her from the tournament. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Serena Williams was 'heartbroken' after an injury sustained in her first round match at Wimbledon forced her from the tournament. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeping the roof closed for a long period leads to "additional moisture" on the grass, the club said in a statement released after Williams and Mannarino got hurt and exited the singles brackets.

"It feels a tad more slippery, maybe, under the roof. I don't know if it's just a gut feeling. You do have to move very, very carefully out there. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down," said Federer, an eight-time Wimbledon champion.

"I do feel it's drier during the day. With the wind and all that stuff, it takes the (moisture) out of the grass. But this is obviously terrible."

In what sounded like an attempt to dispel the notion that anything might be different about the grass this time, particularly given that it's been two years since the tournament was held, the club's statement said: "The preparation of the grass courts has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years."

With AAP

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