A leg injury brings Serena Williams to her knees before withdrawing from her women's singles first-round match against Belarus's Aliaksandra Sasnovich on the second day of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Tennis Club in London, on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
BERLIN — Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon in the first round after injury forced her to retire in the early stages of her match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
Williams, who was seeking a historic 24th Grand Slam title at an event she has won seven times, was tearful as she withdrew from the match.
Williams had broken Sasnovich and led 3-1, appearing to be in full control of Tuesday's contest on Centre Court.
But she suffered an ankle injury in the fifth game after seeming to slip while playing a forehand.
With Williams' movement clearly limited, Sasnovich broke back and Williams left the court for treatment as she took a medical timeout.
She re-emerged to huge applause and bravely tried to continue but was visibly in severe discomfort.
The 39-year-old called a halt to proceedings with the match tied at 3-3, after letting out a scream of pain as she tried in vain to reach the ball.
A look at Wimbledon through the years
FILE - In this July 6, 2017, file photo, Switzerland's Roger Federer kisses the trophy after defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic to win the men's singles final match on day thirteen at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London.
FILE - In this July 11, 2015, file photo, Serena Williams of the United States holds up the trophy after winning the women's singles final against Garbine Muguruza of Spain, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London. Williams won 6-4, 6-4.
Billie Jean King
FILE - In this July 7, 1973, file photo, Billie Jean King holds up the championship trophy after defeating Chris Evert in the Wimbledon women's singles final in London. This was King's fifth time winning Wimbledon.
Chris Evert Lloyd
FILE - In this July 2, 1976, file photo, Chris Evert Lloyd shakes hands with the Duke of Kent, While the Duchess of Kent presents her with the winner's trophy after she beat Australia's Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final of the women's singles championship at Wimbledon.
FILE - In this July 1968 file photo, Princess Marina presents Australia's Rod Laver with the trophy for winning the men's tennis final at Wimbledon, against Tony Roche.
FILE - In this July 12, 2015, file photo, Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates winning the men's singles final against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London. Djokovic won the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
FILE - In this July 8, 1984, file photo, John McEnroe, of the United States, lifts the trophy after defeating fellow American Jimmy Connors, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, in the men's singles final on Wimbledon's center court.
FILE - In this July 7, 2013, file photo, Andy Murray of Britain reacts after winning against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London.
FILE - In this July 7, 1990, file photo, Martina Navratilova fights back tears as she poses with her record ninth ladies singles championship trophy at Wimbledon, after defeating Zina Garrison 6-4, 6-1.
FILE - In this July 7, 1985, file photo, 17-year-old Boris Becker holds the Wimbledon trophy aloft after defeating South Africa's Kevin Curren.
FILE - In this July 6, 1977, file photo, the Duke and Duchess of Kent applaud as Pete Sampras of the United States holds aloft the men's singles trophy after beating Cedric Pioline of France, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, on Wimbledon's Centre Court.
1996 women's singles champion Steffi Graf, right, examines the the winners trophy with the runner up, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, left and Tournament referee Alan Mills after the presentation ceremony on Wimbledon's Centre Court. Graf won the match in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to capture her seventh singles title.
FILE - In this July 8, 2000, file photo, U.S. tennis player Venus Williams laughs as she holds the women's singles trophy on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
In this July 5, 1980, file photo, Bjorn Borg reacts after defeating John McEnroe to win his fifth consecutive Wimbledon singles championship.