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Wimbledon officials defend playing conditions

Wimbledon officials defend playing conditions
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Wimbledon officials dismissed growing concerns over the state of the All England Club courts on Friday despite baselines on some surfaces already stripped of grass after just four days of the Grand Slam event.

London: Wimbledon officials dismissed growing concerns over the state of the All England Club courts on Friday despite baselines on some surfaces already stripped of grass after just four days of the Grand Slam event.

The tournament's Court 18, where John Isner and Nicolas Mahut famously played out their three-day match in 2010, has come in for the fiercest criticism.

On Court 17, meanwhile on Thursday, American star Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffered an horrific right knee injury after her leg buckled.

It was not clear, however, whether the state of the surface was a contributing factor in the 32-year-old's accident.
"The court preparation has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years," said the All England Club.

"Grass is a natural surface and it is usual for the baselines to start to be showing signs of wear and tear four days into the championships."

French 12th seed Kristina Mladenovic said there was a hole on Court 18 and that she and opponent Alison Riske had wanted to stop playing.

"The colour of the court, the fact that there's no more grass, the fact that the baseline where we are running, it's very slippery. There's no grass. I don't know how to describe it. It's not even clay," said Mladenovic, who was beaten in three sets.
"There was a huge hole on the sides where the referee came to actually take pictures of it. So it was not even flat."

Swiss 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky had similar complaints after beating Olympic champion Monica Puig on the same court on Tuesday.

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