Wimbledon tennis stars blast slippery grass during wettest championship in a decade


Tennis stars cry foot fault at Wimbledon: Tearful Serena Williams is forced to retire injured as players blast slippery grass and blame roof during wettest championship in a decade

  • Sir Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Coco Gauff were among those to comment
  • Meanwhile Serena Williams was forced to retire injured after she lost her footing
  • Seven-time champion appeared to hurt her ankle when she fell on Centre Court 

Top tennis players have blasted the slippery grass at Wimbledon after a tearful Serena Williams was forced to retire injured – as professionals pointed their fingers at the Centre Court roof amid the wettest championship in a decade. 

Sir Andy Murray and Coco Gauff were among those to comment on the surface after it rained in south west London yesterday, while Roger Federer said he had previously found the surface to be more slippery when the roof was shut because of a build up of humidity. 

Williams was forced to retire injured after she lost her footing against Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Centre Court. The seven-time champion appeared to hurt her ankle when she fell after the stadium’s roof was closed due to the bad weather.

But today Wimbledon defended itself from the claims, with a spokesman saying the club was satisfied with the quality of the surfaces and it had been the wettest start to a tournament ‘in almost a decade’.

Serena Williams is one of the players to complain about the ‘slippy’ conditions at Wimbledon. She was seen falling to the ground on Centre Court yesterday 

The seven-time singles' winner was visibly in pain after suffering an ankle injury six games in

The seven-time singles’ winner was visibly in pain after suffering an ankle injury six games in

Williams later bowed out of the game just six games into her first-round match

Williams later bowed out of the game just six games into her first-round match 

Sir Andy, 34, said in a tweet he had found Centre Court slippery when he played on Monday.

He posted after Williams retired: ‘Brutal for @serenawilliams but centre court is extremely slippy out there. Not easy to move out there.’

Federer, 39, echoed his words saying that ‘you do have to move very, very carefully out there’.

He added: ‘I do feel it feels a tad more slippery maybe under the roof. I don’t know if it’s just a gut feeling. If you push too hard in the wrong moments, you do go down.’

Gauff, 17, the youngest star ranked in the top 100, struggled during her match against the Brit Francesca Jones due to the surface.

She said after she won the match: ‘Today was tough, because it was a bit slippery and I slipped a lot of times.’

Coco Gauff was also seen slipping and sliding during her first round game against Briton Francesca Jones yesterday

Coco Gauff was also seen slipping and sliding during her first round game against Briton Francesca Jones yesterday 

The US star on the grass during yesterday's action at the All England Club

The US star on the grass during yesterday’s action at the All England Club 

Williams bowed out of Wimbledon in tears last night after the ankle injury forced her to retire just six games into her first-round match.

Wearing a layered, floaty skirt the US superstar was overcome with emotion as she limped off Centre Court to huge applause from a sympathetic crowd.

The shock blow came after she slipped and appeared to hurt her ankle when she was 3-1 up against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus.

The athlete – who was vying for a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title – appeared to glare at the turf before going off court for treatment.

Although she returned ten minutes later, the pain was evident on her face as she tried to serve.

And, despite her best efforts, she decided she could go no further with the score at 3-3.

Her opponent said: ‘I’m so sad for Serena. She is a great champion. It happens sometimes in tennis, but all the best to her.’

France's Adrian Mannarino (pictured) also slipped on the same side of Centre Court as Williams and was later forced to retire with an injury

France’s Adrian Mannarino (pictured) also slipped on the same side of Centre Court as Williams and was later forced to retire with an injury

France’s Adrian Mannarino also slipped on the same side of Centre Court as Williams and was later forced to retire with an injury.

The 33-year-old said: ‘I just slid down and it was really slippery. I heard a big crack and I knew straight away that I wouldn’t be able to do anything any more.’

It came after a day of heavy rain saw players slipping on outside courts and play delayed or cancelled.

A Wimbledon spokesman said ‘the preparation of the grass courts has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years’.

They added: ‘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 No 1 Court for long periods.

‘This is at a time when the grass plant is at its most lush and green, which does result in additional moisture.’

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