Williams is being sued by the estate of an elderly Florida man who died last month after his vehicle was hit by a auto driven by the American star. "I think we should go", she said in a trembling voice.
"There are no words to describe how devastating [it is]", she said, according to the BBC.
Before breaking down in the news conference, Williams had been asked several questions about her emotions in the past month, but had avoided directly addressing the matter.More news: Rodrigo Duterte threatens to jail martial law critics
And then came a news conference here on Monday afternoon that was as stunning as it was revealing of an anguish she has brought with her to Wimbledon, with the grass-court surface most tailored to her game and special in her heart.
Last week Williams released a statement on Facebook saying that she was "heartbroken" and "devastated" by the death of Barson. I'll leave that to you. "But I'm grateful to be here and to play".
Williams, whose sister Serena is also a tennis champion, was ultimately declared at fault for "violating the right of way" of the other vehicle, though at the time she was not cited.
Last week, Williams was sued by the estate of a Florida man who died 13 days after a auto crash.More news: Captain, Leader, Legend: 'Playing against Chelsea just doesn't sit right with me'
"I will say no one on my team wanted me to play here, so coming out and having a good match and hitting some good backhands kind of eased everyone's minds a bit", Keys said.
At such a traumatic time, the seven-time Grand Slam victor admitted she would have loved to be able to spend more time with her sister Serena.
American Madison Keys made a bright start with a 6-4 6-2 success over Japan's Nao Hibino, and revealed she had defied advice from those close to her to stay away from Wimbledon following recent wrist surgery.
"I miss her a lot. It gives me joy", she said.More news: Defiant Qatar hikes gas output by 30 percent
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