Wimbledon 2013: 'A black day' at SW19 as seven players including Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Victoria Azarenka and Marin Cilic bow out with injuries
Seven players had dropped out by mid-afternoon including the ladies second seed and Nadal's first round conqueror
There were so many injuries at Wimbledon one half expected British & Irish Lions rugby union coach Warren Gatland to appear with an update.
Seven players had dropped out by late-afternoon including Victoria Azarenka, the ladies second seed, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, the men's No.6 seed, and Steve Darcis, Rafael Nadal's first round conqueror.
While Marin Cilic said he carried his knee injury into the tournament several players blamed the courts, notably Azarenka who was injured slipping during her first round match and said yesterday 'the court was not in good condition'. Maria Sharapova also found it hard to keep her footing and was overheard telling the umpire the court was 'dangerous'.
Darcis pulled out of his scheduled match against Lukasz Kubot with a shoulder injury incurred – but barely felt – in beating Nadal on Monday.
“I think it happened against Rafa in the middle of the first set when I fell down,” said Darcis who announced his decision on twitter. “I felt it a little bit but I was warm and after a few games it was great, I had no pain.
“A few hours after, I start to feel so much pain, I couldn't sleep that night. I saw the physio and the doctor yesterday. They did a good job and it's a little bit better today, but there is no chance I can play. I cannot serve. On the forehand side I cannot hit a ball. It made no sense to go on the court to withdraw after two games.
“I think adrenaline got me through against Rafa. I was serving great during the match. So I don't know why it was so bad after. Not being able to play is maybe the most disappointing decision I have had to make. When you beat a guy like Rafa you want to show more, I was playing maybe the best tennis in my life.”
Azarenka fell heavily during her 6-1 6-2 first-round win over Maria Joao Koehler requiring treatment on court. She was able to finish that match but unable to start against Italian Flavia Pennetta on centre court.
The Spaniard, who said she thought the courts were unusually slippery, had an MRI scan which showed no serious injury but failed a fitness test on the practice courts.
Also withdrawing were lanky American John Isner, who injured his knee on the third point of his match against Adrian Mannarino of France, Czech player Radek Stephanek and Kazahkstan's Yaroslava Shvedova.
Isner said “I served and landed on my left leg, like I have done 20 million times playing this game, and this is the first time I just felt this sharp pain.
“It wasn't like a pop... it just grabbed like really badly, and I knew I was in serious trouble. I knew it was not likely I was going to be able to play.” Isner gave in after two games.
Cilic pulled out of his match against Kenny de Schepper with a knee injury. He said: I started to feel pain in my knee in Queens and even before. I felt it in practice last week and before my first match. It was a big pain. I went through the match but yesterday it was difficult for me to put weight on my left leg. I had no choice. I can't risk something bigger happening.“
Stepanek suffered a thigh problem in the sixth game against 24th seed Jerzy Janowicz and though he initially carried on after treatment he quit at one set and 3-5 down.
“It is a very black day,” said Cilic.
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