The 23-time Grand Slam champion left Centre Court in tears after suffering a thigh injury
The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who needs just one more title to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record, broke her opponent early in the first set before suffering an issue with her thigh, which had already been heavily taped.
The 39-year-old was clearly limping and called for her trainer before leaving the court for a medical evaluation.
When Williams returned, she held back tears while serving at the baseline, with the pain leaving her in no position to continue.
“I’m so sad for Serena. She is a great champion,” said Sasnovich. “It happens sometimes in tennis, but all the best to her.
“Brutal for @serenawilliams but Centre Court is extremely slippy out there,” Andy Murray wrote on Twitter afterwards. “Not easy to move out there.”
Williams’ retirement was the second in a row on Centre Court, following Adrian Mannarino’s against Roger Federer shortly beforehand. The Frenchman slipped late in the third set, which Federer won to take the match to two sets all. Mannarino retired moments later.
Elsewhere in the women’s draw, world No 1 Ashleigh Barty was taken to three sets by Carla Suarez Navarro in the Spaniard’s last ever match at Wimbledon.
Australian Barty won the first set comfortably but lost the second in a tiebreak. An upset briefly seemed on the cards, men Barty surged clear in the final frame to emerge a 6-1 6-7(1) 6-1 winner.
i mellomtiden, teenage star Coco Gauff saw off Britain’s Fran Jones with relative ease, the 17-year-old advancing by a 7-5 6-4 scoreline.
Following her stunning French Open title win earlier this month, Barbora Krejcikova – unseeded in Paris but seeded 14th here – recorded a 6-3 6-2 victory over Clara Tauson.
Veteran Venus Williams, a five-time champion in SW19, rolled back the years to beat Mihaela Buzarnescu in three sets, the 41-year-old booking her place in the second round by winning 7-5 4-6 6-3.
Britain’s Harriet Dart fell at the first hurdle, i mellomtiden, losing 6-1 6-3 to 13th seed Elise Mertens.