Wimbledon rejects charges of `slippery` courts following `record` 7 players` pull-out

Last Updated: Jun 27, 2013, 09:03 AM IST

London: The All England Lawn Tennis Club has rejected suggestions that the Wimbledon courts are too slippery, on a day when seven players withdrew with injury.

According to Sky News, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova fell three times and asked for a medical timeout during her straight-set loss to world number 131 Michelle Larcher De Brito, while World No.2 Victoria Azarenka pulled out before her match with Flavia Pennetta because of a knee injury sustained during a slip in her first round clash.

Sharapova, who was reportedly seen mouthing what appeared to be the words `this court is dangerous` during the match, said that it was her first reaction after she buckled her knee three times.

Although Sharapova described the conditions on the court as ` slippery`, she, however, refused to blame the lawn for her defeat, saying conditions were the same for her opponent.

But Azarenka blamed the court conditions for her pull-out, saying that the court was not in a very good condition, adding that she fell badly; her opponent fell twice, while many other players fell later.

However, chief executive of the All England Club Richard Lewis denied that the courts` surfaces were to blame for the injuries, saying that the lawns were the same as before, adding that many players have complimented the Club on the very good condition of the courts.

According to Lewis, the court preparation this year was the same meticulous standard as in previous years and are as dry and firm as before, adding that it is well known that grass surfaces tend to be more lush at the start of an event.

Other players who pulled out were Steve Darcis, who defeated Rafael Nadal in the first round, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, John Isner, Marin Cilic, Radek Stepanek and Yaroslava Shvedova, the report added.