London - Wimbledon officials dismissed growing concerns over
the state of the All England Club courts on Friday despite baselines on some
surfaces already stripped of grass after just four days of the Grand Slam
The tournament's Court 18, where John Isner and Nicolas
Mahut famously played out their three-day match in 2010, has come in for the
On Court 17, meanwhile on Thursday, American star Bethanie
Mattek-Sands suffered a horrific right knee injury after her leg buckled.
It was not clear, however, whether the state of the surface
was a contributing factor in the 32-year-old's accident.
"The court preparation has been to exactly the same
meticulous standard as in previous years," said the All England Club.
"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
French 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic said there was a hole
on Court 18 and that she and opponent Alison Riske had wanted to stop playing.
"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,"
said Mladenovic, who was beaten in three sets.
"There was a huge hole on the sides where the referee
came to actually take pictures of it. So it was not even flat."
Swiss 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky had similar complaints
after beating Olympic champion Monica Puig on the same court on Tuesday - just
the second day of the two-week long event.
"I'm pretty disappointed about the quality of the grass
of this year. Especially on Court 18, I'm not saying it's dangerous or
something, but it was the second day of the tournament, and it was already ruined,"
"Usually you see that after a week. I take the risk to
say it. Sorry, Wimbledon, it's not against you, but there are improvements to
do on this thing. I don't know what happened.
"Maybe the weather. But I'm curious to see how they're
going to handle the quality of the grass for the next few days, especially with
so many matches that need to be played in the next few days and week."
Seven-time champion Roger Federer said that if both players
complained about the state of a court then their concerns should be taken
"It's been extremely hot. You should always take the
players' opinion serious, especially when both say it," said the Swiss
Wimbledon courts are no stranger to injury controversies.
In 2013, Victoria Azarenka fell heavily, hurting her ankle
and blamed the state of the courts.
At the same event, Maria Sharapova said the surface on Court
Two where she lost to Michelle Larcher de Brito was "dangerous" after
she fell a number of times.