Williams, playing in the women’s singles tournament All of England For a record 24y At the time, he was hampered by an early misstep in her match against Elena Svitolina on Central Court And he resigned himself to defeat.
However, the match ended in controversial circumstances. On match point, Svitolina sent Williams back to the baseline with a subsequent shot of the 43-year-old bouncing before netting – but an outside call came virtually immediately from the line referee.
Ukraine’s star Svitolina challenged the call to the “hawk’s eye”, with the ball proving to be there. But while Williams clearly expected the point to be returned, head referee Marija Šičak disagreed and awarded the point to Svitolina, thus ending the match.
Williams had a wry smile on her face before shaking her opponent’s hand and then choosing not to shake Checak’s hand as usual, instead shaking her head.
“I totally disagreed with the call,” Williams said, in her post-game press conference.
“It was just this kind of day.”
And speaking of the injury in Game 3 that hampered her chances, Williams struggled to hide the devastation that had befallen her.
“The grass will be slippery by nature,” she added. “She’s going to fall at some point. It was just bad luck for me. I started the match perfectly. I was literally killing her, and then I was killed by the grass (laughter).”
“Yeah, it’s not fun now. I felt like I was in good shape coming into this tournament, great level in the match. Everything is so shocking at the moment.
“This is a sport. I hit the ball really well. I hope I can just figure out what’s going on with me and move forward.”
Svitolina, who made her own return to the Tour after giving birth in October, will play 28y Seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium in the second round.
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