Serena Williams opens the season at the Yarra Valley Classic, where she is seeded No. 5: after the bye at the debut, she gets her first win of the year against Darja Gavrilova for 6-1 6-4, while in the 4th round she finds Cvetana Pironkova, who had also faced in the quarter-finals of the last US Open, winning in two comfortable sets for 6-1 6-4.
She then gets rid of Danielle Collins in the quarterfinals, but in the semis she is forced to retire with a shoulder problem. She then participates at the Australian Open, in the hunt for the 24th Grand Slam title. she nimbly defeats Laura Siegemund in the first round with a double 6-1 and then Nina Stojanović 6-3 6-0.
In the third round she eliminates Anastasija Potapova with some difficulty 7-6 (5) 6-2 and in the round of 16 she faces Aryna Sabalenka for the first time in her career, against whom she wins 6-4 2-6 6-4. In the quarterfinals, she hits her 10th career success on world number two, Simona Halep, who beats with a double 6-3.
She then enters her 9th semifinal in the Australian Major, where she crosses paths with Naomi Osaka. For the third time out of four, Serena is defeated by the Japanese, this time with the score of 3-6 4-6. The Australian Grand Slam will prove to be the last tennis event for the American, who takes a break.
After a break of about three months, Serena returns to the court at the Italian Opem, where she plays the thousandth match of her career, meeting Argentine Nadia Podoroska in the first round and being defeated 6 (6) -7 5-7.
Later she disputes the Emilia Romagna Open, where she is credited as seeded number one: she ousts the young Italian Lisa Pigato in the first round for 6-3 6-2, but then she is surprised by Kateřina Siniaková, who eliminates her for 7-6 (4) 6-2.
She then reaches the second Slam of the season, the French Open, where she gets rid of the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu for 7-6 (6) 6-2 and Mihaela Buzărnescu for 6-3 5-7 6-1. In the third round, Serena wins the derby with Danielle Collins with a double 6-4, reaching the second round, where she crosses the racket with Elena Rybakina, never faced before her and against which she loses 3-6 5-7.
Then came Wimbledon 2021. The twenty-three-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments was the most anticipated on the women's Tour and a fall in the seventh game of the first set, which forced the American into a quick withdrawal.
Serena Williams left the court in tears and cheers in what could have been her last big chance to reach the 24th Grand Slam. Strong emotions for Serena Williams with the very upset American and that she even preferred to avoid having a press conference and talking to the media.
Serena preferred to send everyone a precise statement about her feelings and this very difficult moment: "It broke my heart that I had to retire due to an injury to my right leg. My love and gratitude go out to all the fans and my team who make it so meaningful to be on the center court.
Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd both when I entered and when I left the court meant a lot to me."