Madison Keys' heartbreak is the worst moment fans will see at Wimbledon 2024

Keys had turned her fourth round match around at Wimbledon and might have been on the verge of winning until something very bad happened.
Madison Keys at Wimbledon 2024
Madison Keys at Wimbledon 2024 / Robert Prange/GettyImages

Jasmine Paolini was working her magic early in her fourth-round match against Madison Keys at Wimbledon. Paolini is having the best year of her career, and though small, she covers the court extremely well. She does not have the power of Keys, but the American does not have the Italian's ability to simply be a menace and seemingly get to every ball.

Yet, Keys had figured something out. After losing the first set 3-6, she stayed steady and kept powering shots that even Paolini struggled to do much with. The American took the second set 7-6(6) and then dominated to begin the third set and led 5-2. All Keys needed to do was hold serve.

Paolini was able to force the set to 4-5 but what was more important was that Keys had pulled up lame on a serve. She immediately grabbed her upper left leg and seemed to have pulled or torn a muscle. She did not crumble to the ground, but she could not move well. She eventually asked for a medical timeout which lasted about 10 minutes.

Madison Keys was forced to retire in her fourth-round match at Wimbledon due to a leg injury

She tried to continue playing but at 15-all and unable to move much at all, Keys was forced to retire. The American is 29 years old and likely closer to the end of her career than the beginning. She had never won a Grand Slam, though she reached the final of the US Open in 2017. She was playing well enough against Paolini to imply she could be a contender at this year's Wimbledon.

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Unable to continue, Keys broke down in tears. Paolini did her best to console the player, but there was not much that could be done. Keys knew how well she had been playing and knew she would have had a chance to serve out the match. Instead, she suffered an injury that certainly has no timeline for recovery.

The Wimbledon crowd was supportive and cheered Keys as she left the court, but the player simply walked as well as she could toward the locker room. She did not speak with the press after the match either, which makes perfect sense as she might have been being treated for her injury while also suffering emotionally.

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