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Serena Williams's Wimbledon Withdrawal a Cruel Reminder of the Undefeated Record of Time

There is often something inspiring about watching athletes past the meridians of their primes, still trying to conjure magic. There can also be something excruciating.

We had a reinforcement of that Tuesday at Wimbledon. In one of the first matches of the day, Venus Williams a five-time Wimbledon champ—but one who hasn’t won the title here in 13 (!) years—bushwhacked her way to a three-set win. At age 41, she is a shell of the fleet and graceful star, who dominated these lawns for almost a decade. Who cares? Today, she celebrated this, her 90th match win here, as though she were a teenager.