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Wimbledon Start Sees Empty Seats, Drawing Criticism Of Corporate Sponsors
Published June 26, 2013
SLIPPERY EVEN WHEN NOT WET: The slippery status of Wimbledon's grass courts has become an issue, as No. 2 women seed Victoria Azarenka was forced to withdraw prior to her second-round match today after falling in the first round and several other players have slipped in their matches. Azarenka today said that she was discussing the court condition with a supervisor and noted that "maybe there would be something to look into, that so many players got injured.” Azarenka added that players “cannot blame a court, cannot blame the weather, but there could be something” done to prevent injuries. ESPN's Patrick McEnroe said while everybody "loves the way it looks" on the opening day of the tournament, Wimbledon officials moving forward are "going to have to seriously consider having a little bit more play in the week leading up" to the start of the event. ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez said that “perhaps there is something that can be done” to fix the courts, including changing the fact that Centre Court and Court One get "no play on (them) until the Championships." Fernandez: "You have to start getting someone to practice on it.” Meanwhile, ESPN’s Pam Shriver said, “I want to know what the shoe manufacturers are doing to test the grass court shoes as grass courts are changing and maybe the surfaces under the grass are being rolled more.” ESPN’s Brad Gilbert read a tweet from former tennis player Kim Clijsters about the All-England Club and said, “A few years ago they made a new rule about the position and the length of the studs on the shoes to protect the pristine grass.” ESPN’s Mike Tirico, on shoe regulations at Wimbledon: “There are very specific rules. We could bore you with diameter and pimple density here for a minute but needless to say, they are very careful about what exactly you can wear. But whatever people are wearing, it’s not working" ("Wimbledon," ESPN2, 6/26).