Wimbledon 2021: Serena Williams retires from match after heartbreaking on-court injury

Serena Williams won't be making history at Wimbledon this year. In the middle of the first set of her Round 1 match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, Williams slipped on the grass while planting one of her legs, injuring her knee.

Williams exited briefly to be treated by a trainer. She returned and attempted to continue the match, in tears as she tried to serve without putting any extra weight on her injured leg. She was able to manage for a short while, but suddenly crumpled to the ground in pain after landing on her knee. She was unable to continue, looking devastated as she left the court.

This is only the second time in her long, storied career that she's been forced to retire from a Grand Slam due to injury. The only other time was at Wimbledon in 1998, 23 years ago.

The rainy weather has affected the condition of some of the courts, leading to inconsistent conditions and slippery grass. Williams' fateful slip was the second time on Tuesday a player was forced to retire after sustaining an injury from slipping on the grass. Roger Federer was down 2-1 and in serious trouble against France's Adrian Mannarino when Mannarino slipped on the grass and injured his knee. He was forced to retire from the match. Novak Djokovic slipped numerous times during his match on Monday, but was able to avoid injury.

This is a heartbreaking injury for Williams. With Naomi Osaka and defending champion Simona Halep not playing (plus No. 1 seed Ash Barty dealing with a hip injury), this was Williams' best chance to win that elusive 24th Grand Slam. Before she slipped, Williams was playing great tennis and getting into a groove. Whether she'll have to wait for the US Open to try again depends entirely on her injury. If it's serious, we may not see her on the court again until the start of next season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Serena Williams of The United States reacts as she winces in pain in her Ladies' Singles First Round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus during Day Two of The Championships - Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by AELTC/Jed Leicester - Pool/Getty Images)
Serena Williams was forced to retire from her first round match after injuring her knee on the slippery Wimbledon grass. (Photo by AELTC/Jed Leicester - Pool/Getty Images)

More from Yahoo Sports: