In the press conference after the first round match won at Wimbledon 2021, Cori Gauff wanted to dedicate an emotional message to Serena Williams. The American champion retired in the first round during the first set due to an injury to her right leg and left the most famous Center Court in the world in tears.
She said: "Everyone has seen how many times I've slipped, I can't tell you what the conditions of the court Serena played on, the Centre Court, are. The truth is that I didn't notice, but my coaches told me several times to be careful because the ground was very wet in the back.
Nobody is used to moving on the grass, the tour on this surface is very short, so it is normal to suffer falls and slips." It was hard to see what happened. I'm a huge fan of Serena Williams. She is the reason I started playing tennis.
It's hard to see a player or a woman player getting injured, especially her. We met while I was in the gym stretching. Suddenly I turned away because I didn't want to see it, these things excite me a lot. I wish her the best, I hope her can recover soon, I saw her very excited on the court and it's normal, nobody wants to retire, especially in a Grand Slam and in a special place like Wimbledon.
I hope she will return to the WTA Tour as soon as possible, perhaps on American hardcourt." This is the first ever elimination for the American in the opening match at Wimbledon, she who at most had lost in the third round (last time in 2014).
Serena, who hasn't won a Grand Slam title since 2017 and has lost her last four major career finals, played this year's semi-final at the Australian Open, before being stopped with a score of 6-3 6-4 by the Japanese Naomi Osaka.
Also former American WTA tennis champion Chris Evert praised her countrywoman Serena. She said: "A tournament that has won seven times, deep down she knows well that there is no they are better or more experienced players than her on grass.
This is her best hope." Commenting instead on her withdrawal from Wimbledon 2021, Evert said: “I can't believe how bitterly disappointed she can be, same for her family and her fans. For me, her legacy is already sealed.
If she never wins a Grand Slam tournament again, if she can't match Margaret Court's record, it doesn't matter. She is always the greatest of all." Serena's last success on the London lawns dates back to 2016, when she overtook Angelique Kerber in the final in two sets.
The German then took her revenge two years later when she beat Williams with a double 6-3 in the last game. Still in the race the world number one Ashleigh Barty, who after the victory over Carla Suarez Navarro will now face the Russian Anna Blinkova. Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova beat Clara Tauson and will play agaionst the WTA Tour veteran Andrea Petkovic.