After Serena Williams’ Retirement, Wimbledon Championships 2021 Organizers Name ‘Moisture’ and ‘Weather’ as Culprits for the Slippery Surface

Published 06/30/2021, 9:41 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after sustaining an injury before retiring from her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


Wimbledon Championships 2021 has not even reached the second week, and it is already under serious scrutiny. After a troublesome day on the Center Court ended with Serena Williams’ withdrawal because of the slippery surface, Wimbledon has had to answer its critics for what has been extremely dangerous for the players.

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Williams was not the only causality on Tuesday. Adrian Mannarino was toiling against Roger Federer and he slipped and hurt his knee, which subsequently forced him to retire as well. Serena had also injured her knee after she had a blistering start to her first-round match. The American had an emotional ending at the Centre Court where she got a huge standing ovation as she left the court.

Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves court as she retires from her first-round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich after sustaining an injury. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, and many others have been victims of the slippery courts at Wimbledon

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The slippery surface has particularly been prominent at the Centre Court as well as the No.1 Court. Both the courts have roofs and that is partially a reason behind the grass being slippery. Moreover, the English weather has been unpleasant, to say the least, as Wimbledon experienced one of the wettest first days in its history.

Now the organizers have explained why the Centre Court and No.1 Court have been slippery. The rains have prompted the roof to be closed for most of the occasion hence at the initial stages the grass has had more moisture. And as the tournament matures, the grass will become less slippery.

“The preparation of the grass courts has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years. The weather conditions on the opening two days have been the wettest we have experienced in almost a decade, which has required the roof to be closed on Centre Court and No.1 Court for long periods.

“This is at a time when the grass plant is at its most lush and green, which does result in additional moisture on what is a natural surface. With each match that is played, the courts will continue to firm up.”

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Adrian Mannarino reacts after sustaining an injury before retiring from his first-round match against Switzerland’s Roger Federer REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

After his first-round match, Federer also iterated the same statement that the organizers said. Novak Djokovic had opened the Centre Court proceedings against Jack Draper, and both of them slipped countless times. While some have slipped, Nick Kyrgios was heard calling the surface slow.

Not the best of starts, but let’s hope for an improvement and see how the court evolves and matures as the Grand Slam progresses.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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