Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffers horrific injury at Wimbledon

Other players at tournament blame unsafe court conditions

32-year-old Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered a gruesome injury during her second round match against Sorana Cirstea at the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament in England on Thursday. Mattek-Sands’ right leg suddenly crumpled under her as she was rushing toward the net during the third set. Mattek-Sands began to shout, “Help me! Help me, please!” as she grabbed her knee and laid on the court. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, such an injury. So then I think I was a little bit shocked, as well,” Cirstea said when recounting how she saw the injury. Mattek-Sands reportedly had to wait 10 to 15 minutes for a stretcher, although Wimbledon organizers later clarified, “The first response to Court 17 was within 1 minute, by a qualified ambulance technician. The player was kept on court while pain relief was given. The player was then transferred directly into an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital.” While early speculation led some to think it could’ve been a heart-related issue, the tournament organizers also confirmed that it was “an acute knee injury” that Mattek-Sands suffered.

In the aftermath of the injury, some players are placing part of the blame on subpar court conditions. Wimbledon has undergone hot and humid weather over the course of the tournament, which has led some to feel the court is much more slippier than normal. “I guess the climate doesn’t help, the fact that it’s too nice, too hot, too sunny, makes everything very dry,” said the 12th seeded player in the tournament, Kristina Mladenovic. She said that she and Alison Riske have asked to change courts because of unsafe conditions, but were denied those requests by court referees. She asserts that the damage caused by the heat has gotten so bad that some spots of the courts are “not even flat”, and that she came to this conclusion when she suffered a minor ankle injury during a warmup session.

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