2017 Wimbledon: American Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffers horrific knee injury

By Alex Butler   |   July 6, 2017 at 6:58 PM
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July 6 (UPI) -- Fans could barely watch as American Bethanie Mattek-Sands screamed from the court at Wimbledon Thursday after collapsing with a knee injury.

Mattek-Sands screamed out "help me" for a short period and her opponent Sorana Cirstea asked "how much time does it take to bring a stretcher?"

"The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician," Wimbledon said in a statement. "The player was kept on court while pain relief was given. The player was then transferred directly to an ambulance and taken under emergency conditions to a hospital."

Mattek-Sands, 32, took the first set 6-4 but dropped the second-set tie-break 7-4. She rushed the net on the play before her right knee buckled. Doubles partner Lucie Safarova was in tears watching her friend suffer. Mattek-Sands is a five-time Grand Slam doubles champion and was the top seed in the ladies doubles competition.

Cirstea rushed over the net toward Mattek-Sands after watching her opponent collapse in agony.

"She kept saying, Sorana help me, Sorana help me, Sorana help me," Cirstea told reporters after the match, according to the WTA. "I said, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here. I think was tough because she was stuck on this, Sorana, help me, Sorana help me. I said, I am here, you are strong, you can do this."

"I was trying, but of course I felt useless. In this kind of moment when she was screaming so loud, you watch the knee, it was a very uncomfortable moment. I felt, yeah, a little bit useless. I wish I could have done more."

Mattek-Sands was treated on court 17 for more than 20 minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. The American suffered another ligament injury in that same knee four years ago.

"It's not easy because at the end of the day it's not about tennis any more," Cirstea said, according to Wimbledon.com. "We are like a family. You want everyone to be OK. It doesn't matter you win, you lose, once you are out, you want them to be OK."

"So, yeah, I hope is not as bad that it seemed, and she can have a quick, quick recovery. I'm very sad about everything that happened."

Mattek-Sands is ranked No. 103 in the world in singles rankings. She is ranked the No. 1 doubles player while Safarova is ranked No. 2 by the WTA.

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