SBD/July 7, 2017/Events and Attractions

Medical Response At Wimbledon Questioned After Injury; Some Upset With Grass Condition

There was at least a 15-second delay before Mattek-Sands received medical attention
Tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Thursday "suffered a brutal injury while playing a singles match at Wimbledon," and her opponent, Sorana Cirstea, is "criticizing the response of emergency officials, who seemed slow to rush to help," according to Greg Hadley of MCCLATCHY NEWS. Mattek-Sands "approached the net to return a shot" when her knee "buckled beneath her and she fell to the grass turf, screaming in pain." She could "clearly be heard screaming, 'please help me, please, please'" on ESPN's live coverage. The broadcast "cut away from Mattek-Sands before medics could be seen reaching her, but there seemed to be at least a 15-second delay between the moment she collapsed" and when she "first received medical attention." Cirstea after the match said, "It took a really long time not only for the stretcher to get there but I would say she was on the ground from 10 to 15 minutes and for me that is really long" (MCCLATCHY NEWS, 7/6). Cirstea added, "For a long time it was me, her husband and my physio. ... There are sports where you see something's happening, you see straightaway the help. Like I know football, boxing, all the others, it's straightaway." More Cirseta: "You wonder what would have happened if it was a heart issue or something like this." The All England Club tweeted, "The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician. ... The player was kept on court while pain relief was given. She was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital'" (REUTERS, 7/6). ABC's T.J. Holmes asked, “What if this had been some kind of cardiac arrest, where seconds matter in life and death? It took too long for somebody to get out there" ("GMA," ABC, 7/7).

PLAYERS UNHAPPY WITH SURFACE: THE GUARDIAN's Jacob Steinberg noted there was "concern on one of the outside show courts" in the match between Kristina Mladenovic and Alison Riske about the playing surface. Mladenovic in her post-match press conference revealed "both players had unsuccessfully asked the umpire to stop play because they felt the court's surface was unsafe." She said that there was "no more grass and even a hole in the ground on Court 18." Mladenovic said, "You ask the referee to tell you what’s the rule if both players don’t want to keep on playing. And the answer is that they just can’t do anything, unfortunately, and you have to keep on playing." She added, "The colour of the court, the fact that there’s no more grass, the fact the baseline where we are running, it’s very slippery. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not even clay. ... There was a huge hole on the sides where the referee came to take pictures of it." Steinberg noted the problems are being "blamed on the dry weather." Mladenovic said that Agnieszka Radwanska told her that playing on Court 2 was "'horrible' and there has been lots of grumbling in the locker room" (GUARDIAN, 7/6). Riske: "The patch near the baseline is eaten up and the dirt underneath is like ice. Look around, people are going down left and right" (AP, 7/6).
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