London - French 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic brushed aside
her second- round defeat at Wimbledon on Thursday, saying she couldn't care
less about it and was just happy she had not been injured.
Mladenovic was beaten 2-6 6-4 6-4 by unheralded American
Alison Riske, but she insisted her main concern had been getting off Court 18
in one piece.
"Honestly, the feeling is that I couldn't care less if
I lost the match today, I just want to be healthy. I'm just so blessed and
happy that I am not injured today, because we saw worse today."
The French woman's comments came just two hours after
American Bethanie Mattek-Sands had been carried off a different court on a stretcher,
screaming in pain with a serious knee injury.
Mladenovic said she and Riske had both asked to not play on
the court after the first two games.
"It's quite unique with your opponent, after two games,
you both agree on stopping playing in a slam," she said. "You asking
the referee to tell you what's the rule if both players don't want to keep on
playing. And the answer is that they just can't do anything, unfortunately, and
you have to keep on playing.
"I think you can all pretty much see. First of all, I
don't know, the colour of the court, the fact that there's no more grass, the
fact that the baseline where we are running, it's very slippery.
"There's no grass. I don't know how to describe it.
It's not even clay. It's not flat. I mean, I don't know. So it is tough to put
your strong footwork. You kind of have to run light and be careful, I don't
know, not to push or press too much, too hard, which is strange to play on. I'm
just honestly very happy and blessed that I didn't injure myself that much."
The All England Club confirmed that Court 18 had been
checked by tournament officials, including head groundsman Neil Stubley, during
the match and was "playable as normal".
"The court preparation has been to exactly the same
meticulous standard as in previous years," a statement said.
"Grass is a natural surface and it is usual for the
baselines to start to be showing signs of wear and tear four days into the
It said moisture readings, taken every morning, showed
nothing unusual despite the hot weather.
"We will continue to monitor these readings and adjust
our care plan for the grass appropriately."
Mattek-Sands's conqueror, Sorana Cirstea, said Court 17 had
been a little slippery, but nothing out of the ordinary.
"We all know grass, it's quite dangerous
sometimes," she told reporters. "Especially as you get through the
days, it's less grass and more sand or whatever.
"I think all of us, we know when we move – I also had
two quite tough balls where I almost fell over. So we all know grass is a
little bit more dangerous than hard court or clay."
Mladenovic said the condition of the courts was a topic of
conversation in the locker rooms.
"I don't want to call it negligence or anything, but
yeah, I just hope nobody gets injured. That's the thing. That's a tricky
"Lots of courts ... I am in the ladies member locker
room, so I don't meet many players. But the ones I talk to, they – I don't know
in which court (Agnieszka) Radwanska played, but she said it was horrible, as
well. I don't know."