Wimbledon chiefs say wet weather is to blame for several players slipping on grass courts and being forced to retire.
The opening two days of Wimbledon have been packed with action and incidents, with Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino both falling foul to a slippery surface on Centre Court.
Williams was already carrying an ankle and thigh injury coming into her first round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and called her trainer when she slipped in the first set.
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The seven-time Wimbledon champion was eventually forced to withdraw from the match, with Williams fighting back tears as she was helped off the court.
Minnarino was in the middle of a thriller against Roger Federer when he slipped in the fourth set and had to bow out in the fifth set.
On the opening day Novak Djokovic and Jack Draper repeatedly slipped during their match and the All England Club have now released a statement trying to explain why players are falling foul of the grass surface.
“The preparation of the grass courts has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years,” Wimbledon bosses said.
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 No1 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 on what is a natural surface. With each match that is played, the courts will continue to firm up.”
Andy Murray has already expressed concern about the ‘slippery’ surfaces at Wimbledon and Williams said she was ‘heartbroken’ to have to bow out of her first round match.
“I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg,” she said on Instagram.
“My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on centre court so meaningful.
“Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on - and off - the court meant the world to me.”
Wimbledon continues today with Djokovic taking on Kevin Anderson in a rematch of the 2018 final and Andy Murray and Dan Evans also in action against Oscar Otte and Dusan Lajovic respectively.
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