Slippery Wimbledon grass blamed on unusually wet weather

Kei Nishikori slips on the grass during his first round gentlemen's singles match against Alexei Popyrin. Credit: PA

The slipperiness of the grass at Wimbledon which several star players have complained about has been attributed to unusually wet conditions at the start of the tournament.

Several players have slipped on the surface of the courts with both Serena Williams and Adrian Mannarino being forced to retire from their matches after suffering injuries.

Williams left Centre in tears having hurt her leg early in her clash against Aliaksandra Sasnovich in what could potentially have been her final appearance at Wimbledon.

Mannarino, meanwhile, limped out his match against Roger Federer having hurt his right knee while two sets to one up.

Serena Williams walked off crying as she had to withdraw from her game due to injury Credit: PA

The All England Club said in a statement: “The preparation of the grass courts has been to exactly the same meticulous standard as in previous years."

They said all the relevant inspectors had cleared the court for play.

They added: “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."

Alexander Zverev slips on the grass during his first round gentlemen's singles Credit: PA

The good news for both organisers and players is that the forecast for the rest of this week is much better.

Williams did not do a press conference on Tuesday but issued a statement that read: “I was heartbroken to have to withdraw today after injuring my right leg. My love and gratitude are with the fans and the team who make being on Centre Court so meaningful.

“Feeling the extraordinary warmth and support of the crowd today when I walked on – and off – the court meant the world to me.”