Serena Williams suffered a fall at Wimbledon that prematurely ended her bid for the major.
The slip occurred in Williams’ first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Williams went down tied 3-3 in the first set and was forced to retire from the match due to injury.
Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou noted that while they don’t yet know what the injury is, Williams is walking, which is “a good sign.”
“We don’t know for the moment; we are expecting the result of the clinical assessment,” Mouratoglou said, per TennisMajors.com. “The manual test gave us an idea of the nature of the injury, not how serious it is. We’re waiting to see how long she’s supposed to be resting and, obviously, the consequences in terms of preparation for the next one [the US Open]. Time will fly. She’s walking, which is a good sign, and it excludes very bad possibilities.”
Certainly, that’s a positive for the 39-year-old Williams, and it sounds like she should be able to return to action in the not-too-distant future.
Still, Mouratoglou expressed displeasure with the state of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. He cited some other notable slips from the first few days of Wimbledon.
“This court has been dangerous since the beginning of the tournament,” Mouratoglou said. “Everybody fell on this Centre Court on Monday and Tuesday, and [Nick] Kyrgios was very close to a bad injury on Court No 1. Where the players slip is where the court is covered. If Novak Djokovic wasn’t incredibly elastic, he could have been injured also.”
However, Mouratoglou didn’t entirely blame the courts for the issues. His focus was on the shoes the tennis players wear.
“The real concern is less the court and more the shoes. Let me describe you a tennis shoe made for grass. It’s full of pimples. Without those, playing tennis would be like ice skating and straddling when you want to run,” Mouratoglou said. “But the rules and regulations of Wimbledon forbid pimples on the side of the shoe. But you have to know that most of the falls on grass are due to a side support. When the players change direction, their reflex is to push the inside of the foot. That was clearly the motion in the falls of Mannarino’s and Djokovic.
“If you don’t have pimples there, the foot is giving way and here comes the split. That’s a reflex, you can’t help it. I really think a serious discussion must start on this topic with reconsideration for the player’s health as a top priority.”
Perhaps that’s a change that Wimbledon will consider instituting for the 2021 tournament.
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