London - Colourful American Bethanie Mattek-Sands admits her
right knee may never be the same again and that she will ask Wimbledon
organisers not to play her on the court where she suffered a horrific injury
The former world doubles number one collapsed to the ground
on Court 17 during a second-round singles match against Sorana Cirstea last
July, screaming "please help me" as it took 20 minutes for medics to
arrive and stretcher her away.
It was later revealed she had suffered a dislocated kneecap
and needed surgery.
The 33-year-old's long road back brought her to Roland
Garros this year, where she claimed her first Tour-level singles win since the
Although Mattek-Sands said she feels physically "very
good", she admitted the knee may never be the same again.
"It's been holding up and I've been training and
playing a decent amount of matches and it's recovering good day-to-day, which
is what I'm happy about," she told reporters in Paris.
"I don't think it's ever going to be the same as my
left one... talk to me in 10 years and it still might be different."
The outside courts, especially 17 and 18, at the All England
Club were widely-criticised in 2017, with some players claiming the surfaces
weren't as good as previous years.
And Mattek-Sands said that "for sure", she would
"ask not to be on that court" at the 2018 championships which start
The injury didn't only prevent Mattek-Sands, a seven-time
Grand Slam doubles champion, from taking to court, but from normal day-to-day
"The beginning was the most difficult because I had to
keep my leg straight for six weeks and I really couldn't do anything," she
"I needed help getting in and out of bed. If I needed
to go to the shower or go to the bathroom, I needed someone to help me get
"It wasn't that I wasn't able to play, it's that I
wasn't able to live my life the way I'd been used to.
"If I got hungry, I couldn't just go to the kitchen and
get some food so I think that was the biggest thing. So going from being a professional
athlete to that was just a very big contrast."
Mattek-Sands has always been well-known for her unusual
fashion sense on the tour - she wore a jacket with tennis balls attached to the
sleeves at Wimbledon in 2011 - and said she made the most of her time off by
taking her creativity into doing up her new home.
"We're renovating a house so I feel like I really got
into that, the interior design," Mattek-Sands said.
"Fashion-wise, I like being creative so I kind of took
all of my colourful ideas that I wear and brought them to the house, so that's
an ongoing project."