AI dropped the first set at 6-1, though to be honest it didn't seem like it should have been 6-1. It felt closer. But nonetheless, serving at 30-40 in the first game of the second set she fired her first ace and immediately felt a twinge in her left groin.
She tried to continue, missing her first serve and immediately started crying as she walked to her chair to sit and wait for the trainer. After getting the leg strapped she came back, gamely was able to close out the first game, but in a flood of tears walked up and retired.
To Venus' credit she was really classy with how she handled it. She gave Ana a hug and walked slowly to allow Ana to keep pace as they walked off together. Once they got of the court Venus showed genuine concern as she talked to Ana as they headed into the tunnel. I will add that I would expect nothing less from Venus. She's class all the way.
Ana after the match (the video is kinda heartbreaking):
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Uhm, that's the most disappointing thing because I felt like I wasn't given a fair chance, you know, to fight.
But, yeah, it was really disappointing, especially that, you know, all of a sudden I felt pain after that serve. And, yeah, I'm really disappointing.
Q. Did you have the problem in the first set?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, no, nothing. I didn't feel anything up until that point. Over past few days I felt muscle tightness, but that was, you know, normal after playing so much on the grass.
Just when I was serving 30‑40 down in that first game, and after my first serve when I landed I just felt a sharp pain on my inner thigh and I couldn't step on my leg ever since.
Q. It was very hot today on Centre Court. I think it was 31 degrees in the shade. Did the heat have anything to do with it?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was very hot, but I made sure I stayed hydrated. I had a lot to drink before the match and also last night. Yeah, it was a different day in London.
But, yeah, you know, I enjoyed. I thought I had some chances in the first game of the first set. Even though it was 6‑1, I still thought it was pretty close. She played really well. She wasn't missing much.
But, yeah, I just felt like, uhm, maybe I should have had a fair chance to fight back.
Q. How big a disappointment is it compared to anything else you've endured?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously it's very disappointing. You know, especially that I felt my form was getting better and better. So, yeah, it's really frustrating (tearing up.)
Q. Is that part of the problem, because you hadn't had the best year, but you were coming back?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, just frustrating because, like I said, I felt, you know, good out there. I was playing better each match. I just thought, you know, it was great challenge for me today to play against someone like Venus.
And, yeah, just disappointing I didn't get the right chance, you know, to finish the match.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't even know the last time that I had these circumstances. I don't think ever in a slam. So I think she was in a lot of pain.
You know me, I'm one of those players I just only pay attention to what's going on on my side of the net. But today I felt really sad for her actually. She was really upset.
This is Wimbledon. It's the last place you want to have an injury that you can't overcome. So I'm wishing her a lot of luck in her recovery.
Q. Did you notice the moment when she was injured?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think it happened in the last game, and I guess it was painful. You know, she's tough. She tried to not show it. But, you know, professional players, we're always in a little bit of pain of some sort. So you get used to the pain level, but I guess it was something she couldn't work through.
So yeah. Really tough luck for the kid. It seems like every time she's on her way to gaining momentum something happens.