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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Maria Sharapova slips, falls on ‘dangerous’ Wimbledon court (Video)

Maria Sharapova called the slick courts at Wimbledon “dangerous” during her second-round loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito at the All England Club on Wednesday, but she refused to blame the surface for her defeat.

Sharapova lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to de Brito on Court No. 2, which is the same venue where fellow top female Caroline Wozniacki was defeated 6-2, 6-2 in her second-round match. Sharapova and Wozniacki’s surprising losses were part of a stunning day of results that included No. 3 seed Roger Federer losing in four sets; No. 6 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga retiring with a knee injury down two sets to one; and Victoria Azarenka withdrawing from her match.

Sharapova credited her opponent after the match and blamed herself for not being aggressive enough. She refused to blame the surface for her issues, which is different from how she acted while she was playing.

Maria Sharapova slips

Sharapova slipped and fell along the baseline during the first set and was treated by a trainer. The Guardian says Sharapova fell two other times during the match, all in the same spot where Wozniacki fell and twisted her ankle earlier in the day.

“How many more times?” The broadcast microphones picked up Sharapova saying. “This court is dangerous.”

Sharapova and Wozniacki were among many who struggled with the slippery courts.

Azarenka withdrew from Wimbledon Wednesday with a knee injury. The Australian Open champion sustained the injury during her 6-2, 6-1 first-round win over Maria Joao Koehler when she, you guessed it, slipped on the court.

“The court was not in a very good condition that day. I mean, my opponent fell twice, I fell badly, there were some other people who fell after,” Azarenka said, per The Guardian. “So I don’t know if it’s the court or the weather. I can’t figure it out. It would be great if the club or somebody who takes care of the court just would examine or try to find an issue so that wouldn’t happen.”

All England Club chief executive Richard Lewis does not believe the courts are the problem despite the record seven players withdrawing or retiring on Wednesday.

“We sympathise with all the players affected,” said Lewis. “The withdrawals have occurred for a variety of reasons, but there have been some suggestion that the court surface is to blame. We have no reason to think this is the case. Indeed, many players have complimented us on the very good condition of the courts.”

Look, man, let me just say this: I saw the players slipping all over. I know it’s a problem. And if Roger Federer was knocked out before the quarterfinals of a major for the first time since 2004, then you know something is wrong, and it ain’t the Swiss sensation.

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