The iconic Centre Court at Wimbledon is one of the most famous tennis venues in the world. The lush green grass which spreads across the pristine Wimbledon tennis courts is a tennis player’s dream to set foot on. However, a slew of unfortunate events which led former champion Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino to pull out of the tournament following a fall has put the spotlight on the conditions.
Millions of Roger Federer’s fans nearly suffered heartbreak as the Swiss champion survived a huge Wimbledon scare on Tuesday. Federer was trailing against France’s Adrian Mannarino in the first round Despite leading by two sets of the first three sets, the French player was forced to retire following a mid-game injury.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer was level at 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 6-2 when Mannarino, who was celebrating his 33rd birthday, called it quits after just one point in the decider. In spite of taking medical intervention, the Frenchman was hardly able to move and eventually had to retire.
“It’s awful and shows one shot can change the outcome of a match, season, career,” the Swiss legend said during his news conference. “I wish him all the best and hope we see him back quickly,” he added.
Federer also suggested that it was “more slippery under the roof", which was there for much of Tuesday’s play.
He also expressed his sympathy for Serena Williams who retired injured after falling on the same section of Centre Court later in the day. He termed Serena’s incident “terrible” and said he “can’t believe it” as the injuries occurred in back-to-back matches.
Serena was 3-3 against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, when she lost footing near the baseline and injured her ankle. She needed to take an injury timeout to receive treatment, but when she returned to the court her movement was visibly limited. The 39-year-old appeared troubled as she winced and stepped gingerly between points. But eventually, the seven-time Wimbledon singles champion dropped to her knees and exited the court retired injured.
Following Tuesday’s unfortunate injuries, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club said, “The weather conditions on the opening two days have been the wettest we have experienced in almost a decade, which has required the roof to be closed on Centre Court and Court One for long periods.” However, the organisers are hopeful that with each match that is played, the courts will continue to firm up, the BBC reported.