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Serena retires hurt at Wimbledon as Federer limps into round 2

While lucky ticket holders for Wimbledon's Centre Court didn't exactly get what was advertised, they...


Serena retires hurt at Wimbled...

Sport

Serena retires hurt at Wimbledon as Federer limps into round 2


While lucky ticket holders for Wimbledon's Centre Court didn't exactly get what was advertised, they witnessed two of the biggest moments of so far on Tuesday.

Serena Williams' latest tilt at a record-equalling 24th career Grand Slam ended abruptly.

The six-time Wimbledon champion retired hurt after just six games of her first round match with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Williams left Centre Court in tears but to resounding cheers as she succumbed to an apparent ankle injury.

It's now 4-and-a-half years and counting since her last Grand Slam triumph, at the 2017 Australian Open.

Williams' section of the draw now looks wide open, with Belinda Bencic - seeded 9 - now the highest ranked player. Coco Gauff and Angelique Kerber are also lurking after wins on Tuesday over Fran Jones and Nina Stojanovic respectively.

Top seed Ashleigh Barty paid special tribute to Carla Suarez Navarro after beating the veteran Spaniard in three sets.

Suarez Navarro only announced in April that she was cancer-free, following a battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova beat Clara Tauson 6-3, 6-2 to move into round 2.

There were also wins for 8th seed Karolina Pliskova, and the evergreen Venus Williams.

While one of Wimbledon's greatest ever champions fell to injury, another benefitted from it.

Roger Federer had just levelled his first round match with Adrien Mannarino at two-sets apiece when the Frenchman retired hurt.

He was unable to put any weight on his right leg following an earlier slip behind the baseline.

With Federer's progress, the realisation that he was lucky.

"It’s awful," said the eight-time champion, "It shows that one shot can change the outcome of a match, a season, a career.

"I wish him all the best and I hope he recovers quickly so we see him back on the courts. He could have won the match at the end. Obviously he was the better player, so I definitely got a bit lucky.

"You don’t get many walkovers throughout a career and you try also not to have it happen to yourself. It’s a reminder how quickly it goes.

"But of course, I’m obviously happy I can get another chance for another match here. I worked very hard and at the end I enjoyed myself out here today. It was great fun until the end, obviously."

Federer will play another French player in round 2 - the vastly experienced Richard Gasquet.

Alexander Zverev had a far less dramatic day - the fourth seed beat Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets.

While German qualifier Oscar Otte secured a second round date with Andy Murray.

In a marathon match carried over from Monday, he eventually beat Arthur Rinderknech 13-11 in the deciding set.

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Adrien Mannarino Alexander Zverev Aliaksandra Sasnovich Ashleigh Barty Barbora Krejcikova Roger Federer Serena Williams Tennis Venus Williams

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