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Serena Williams Exits Wimbledon 2021 After On-Court Injury 

Serena Williams was forced to withdraw from Wimbledon this year after suffering a knee injury in the middle of her first match. During the first set of her Round 1 match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Williams slipped on the grass while planting one of her legs resulting in the knee injury. 

At first Williams only exited briefly and had the intention to finish the match regardless of her knee. After she was quickly treated by a trainer she returned and attempted to continue the match as tears streamed down her face from the pain. 

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Williams was visibly trying not to put any extra weight on her injured leg and was able to manage playing for a little while before she fell to the ground after landing on her knee. She took to Instagram later that day to address her devastation.

“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg. My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on Centre Court so meaningful. Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked off the court.” 

This is the second time Williams was forced to withdraw from a Grand Slam competition due to an injury. The other time was also at Wimbledon in 1998, 23 years ago. 

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The rainy weather has been affecting the condition of some of the courts at Wimbledon this year, leading to slippery grass. Williams was the second player forced to retire from the competition due to an injury caused by slipping on the grass. 

Adrian Mannarino of France also slipped on the grass and injured his knee right as he was winning in his match against Roger Federer. Novak Djokovic also slipped numerous times throughout his match on Monday but was able to avoid injury. 

With both Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep not playing in the Grand Slam this year, and number one seed Ash Barty dealing with a hip injury, it seemed as though Williams was going to have a relatively easy time winning what would’ve been her 24th Grand Slam. 

It’s unclear whether or not Williams will be able to play in the US Open this year, as the extent of her injury has not been determined or released to the public. There is a chance she won’t be able to return to the court until next season.

Female Tennis Player

Serena Williams To Face Naomi Osaka In Australian Open Semi-Finals 

Serena Williams produced a stellar performance at the Australian Open semi-final against Simona Halep this past week, granting her the opportunity to face Naomi Osaka in Thursday’s semi-final. Williams’ intense ball-striking ability and movement throughout the court gave her the edge she needed to carry out a win. 

Williams’ career has been heavily analyzed after the birth of her daughter due to inconsistencies in her performances, however, there’s no denying that Williams is still one of the greatest athletes of all time, and her past games have proven that. When she was facing Halep she began the game with some relatively poor serves, however, by the middle of the game it was clear she got her groove back and was able to win the match with all of her other amazing skills. 

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Williams was able to retrieve more balls and force errors from Halep, proving she was still comfortable on the court. Her strategy was slow, yet steady, as she calmly waited for the right shot to attack her opponent and guarantee herself the win. 

“If there was any criticism of Halep, who committed just four unforced errors in the opening set, it was of her poor serving when she took the lead in the second set. It was her biggest opportunity to cause havoc and she simply offered Williams too many second serves, who immediately broke back from 1-3 to 3-3,” according to sports journalist Tumaini Carayol. 

Carayol explained that “while Halep took control of the points, desperately trying to keep hold of her serve, Williams was reduced to scrambling far being the baseline, living off defensive forehand slices and lunging for every ball. Williams clinched the definitive break not with a nuclear forehand, but after consecutive, breathless 20- and 16-stroke rallies.”

Williams was interviewed after the game and claimed that “movement has always been one of my strengths, and so it’s actually more natural for me to move than for me not. So it was just kind of, like: ‘Oh, that’s how I used to move,’ so it’s pretty good.”

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“I think I was more focused on other things and not focused on something that is actually a strength of mine, has always been a strength of mine, and I had to refocus on that.”

Williams has now reached her 40th grand slam semi-final, and now that she has won six of her last eight games against top 10 opponents, she’s projected for even more success. The fact that she has shown clear improvement in the parts of her game that were lacking this time last year, no ones underestimating the power behind Williams. 

Osaka’s recent 6-2, 6-2 win over Hsieh Su-wei that came after an intense 66-minute match has also made her another competitor to watch closely throughout the rest of these games. 

“It makes me a bit more calm, just knowing that even though my back was severely against the wall I still had opportunities. Even today when I had two match points and she saved them both, normally I feel like I would have panicked but today I was pretty calm,” Osaka explained. Osaka and Williams will be facing off this Thursday at the Australian Open semi-final.

Tennis

Serena Williams Reaches US Open Quarterfinals After Defeating Maria Sakkari 

Serena Williams played what experts are calling her best tennis match of the season yet this past Monday against Maria Sakkari. After an intense two and a half hours Serena beat Sakkari, this reaching her 53rd grand slam quarter-final position. 

12 days prior she faced off against Sakkari in what resulted in a much different outcome. She started that match with a solid 7-5, 5-3 lead and began serving for the win when Sakkari caught a second-wind and beat Williams, tying them up for the potential quarter-final position. In the third set of that match, Williams began to noticeably cramp which impacted her performance and allowed Sakkari to take the win. 

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“It was a completely different scenario and completely different moment. I just kept fighting and she was doing so well, being so aggressive. I knew that I needed to do the same thing.”

Sakkari has been thought of as one of the most improved pro-tennis players within the past few years. She credits part of her success to her coach, Thomas Hill, who helped her go from top 50 status to number 22 in the world. In the beginning of game 3 this Monday, Sakkari started strong by throwing down three aces, however, Williams quickly retaliated, saving all three break points giving her control over the serve. 

Once she was able to hold serve her momentum was visibly unstoppable. However, it was clear that Sakkari was in no position to back down from facing the world’s greatest tennis player, especially with a quarterfinal position on the line. Williams was able to blow off her four set points, but found it difficult to keep up and by the end of the second set Sakkari has hit more winners and aces, giving her a 2-0 lead. However, Williams fought back just as hard, winning her three more games. 

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At this point the scoring was at 3-3- and 30-30, but Williams saw the end result she wanted and took it after hitting an ace that was measured at reaching a speed of 124 miles-per-hour, giving her the win and quarterfinal position. 

Williams is no stranger to grand slam finals as most know. Between 2018 and 2019, Williams lost a total of four grand slam finals, however, she’s still referred to as one of the stars of those finals for the phenomenal matches she played. This season, fans began to notice a shift in her game; she appeared to move slower and lose her timing a lot easier. However, Williams used these critiques as motivation to do better, and at the Arthur Ashe Stadium she completely turned a corner and began taking wins every chance she got. 

Williams is now set to face off against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova; a Wimbledon semi-finalist in 2010 who briefly retired from tennis after the birth of her son. The US Open this year is her first event back playing pro-tennis, and fans couldn’t be more excited that she’s making her comeback against Williams, as they know the two are definitely going to put on a nail-biter of a match.

Tennis

Kim Clijsters To Make Professional Tennis Comeback in 2020

Kim Clijsters is making her professional tennis comeback at 36 and fans are skeptical – but they shouldn’t be. Clijsters is known for being a four-time major winner, and for her sensational flexibility and speed on the court.