An unusually high number of withdraws due to injuries at Wimbledon has drawn criticism from some players.
On Wednesday, Victoria Azarenka fiercely complained about the conditions of the court after her withdrawal, according to CNN. She was one of seven players forced to pull out.
Steve Darcis, who defeated Rafael Nadal on the first round, also pulled out as did Jo-Wilfried Tsonga from France, RAdek Stepanek from the Czaech Republic, American John Isner, Marin Cilic from Croatia, and Yaroslava Shvedova from Kazakhstan.
The record for tournament withdrawal is held by the 2011 US Open, which saw 17 players pull out with injuries.
The world’s No. 2 seed Azarenka suffered an injury to her right knee during the first round on Monday and had to withdraw minutes before her match against Italian Flavia Pennetta on Wednesday.
As the Australian Open champion she was expected to be in contention for the title and was visibly unhappy about the turn of events that forced her out early blaming the court conditions.
“The court was not in a very good condition that day.” the player from Belarus told reporters afterwards.
“It would be great if the club or somebody who takes care of the court would examine or try to fins an issue, so that wouldn’t happen.”
In a statement, which came out immediately after Azarenka’s accusations, the All England Club defended itself:
“There have been no changes in the preparation of the courts and as far as we are aware the grass court surface is in excellent condition.”
Moreover, the statement read, the club believes that the courts are actually drier than they were in 2012.
“A grass court is a natural surface and will generally be slightly more lush in the first couple of days. Although a high number of players have withdrawn injured, only one player attributed this to slipping on court.”
Wimbledon 2013 resumes on Thursday with Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and Juan Martin Del Potro in action.
Do you think that court conditions are to blame for injuries at Wimbledon?