Venus Williams has given a strong reaction after she lost her Wimbledon match to Elina Svitolina on a challenge. The Ukrainian’s ball was called out but the umpire gave her the match when hawk eye showed it was in – something the five-time champion wasn’t happy with. And Williams shared her shock after slipping early in the match after a blazing start.
Williams’ return to Wimbledon ended in agony as she suffered a horror fall in the third game of the match – screaming in pain. The 43-year-old arrived to the court with her knee already strapped and needed two medical time outs during the clash as she played on until the end.
And there was more bad luck for the American at the end of the match as Svitolina had her ball called out on match point. When she correctly challenged, chair umpire Marija Cicak called game, set and match – awarding the former world No 3 the point.
“I completely disagreed with the call. It was just that kind of day,” the seven-time Major champion stated when asked about the call. Williams had taken an early break lead over Svitolina, going 2-0 up before she slipped on the grass.
And the former world No 1 was clearly disappointed at suffering another injury setback as she admitted she didn’t know the extend of the problem yet. “I’m not sure what I’ve done. I’m going to have to investigate it tomorrow. It’s late today. But it was quite painful,” she said, noting that the fall made it “very hard to focus on what I was doing.”
Williams added: “Grass is inherently going to be slippery. You’re going to fall at some point. It was just bad luck for me. I started the match perfectly. I was literally killing it, then I got killed by the grass.
“Yeah, it’s not fun right now. I felt like I was in great form coming into this tournament, and great form in the match. It’s all very shocking at the moment. This is sports. I’m hitting the ball well. Hopefully I can just figure out what’s happening with me and move forward.”
Williams has been sidelined by several injuries over the last few years – including when she picked up a physical issue on her return in Auckland. She mounted another comeback on the grass in s’Hertogenbosch last month and got a top-50 win over Camila Giorgi in Birmingham.
But she may have been set back once again and detailed the frustration of experiencing multiple injuries at this stage in her career. “I think what makes this one hard to process is I’ve had so many injuries,” she explained.
“I’ve been missing from tour for quite a while. This is not what I want for myself. This kind of fall, I didn’t do anything wrong. I just went for the ball. There’s nothing I can really do about it. Those kinds of things are hard to process emotionally, mentally and physically on the court.”
But she still wanted to fight until the end, adding: “I just couldn’t figure it out today. It was just real challenging. I’ve played through a lot of injuries and won a lot of matches injured. It’s almost a specialty of mine. I just couldn’t figure it out today.”
Svitolina also said she was left shaken after hearing how painful the fall was for Williams. “Yeah, because she screamed really loud, as well. I was shaken up,” the 28-year-old said.
“Yeah, I was really shocked in a way, because I thought it was really, really serious. So I was really happy for her actually that she could stand up after and didn’t take a medical timeout. She just was checking how the knee is. And then we continue playing. I was really happy, because it’s such a horrible injury, the knee injury. Any injury is bad, but, you know, she screamed really loud. So I really got scared.”
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