American Bethanie Mattek-Sands said she dislocated her kneecap and ruptured her patella tendon in her right knee when she slipped and fell while approaching the net at Wimbledon on Thursday.
Mattek-Sands' right leg buckled and she immediately clutched her knee and screamed in pain after sustaining the gruesome injury during second-round action against Sorana Cirstea of Romania at the All England Club in London.
"It's obviously been an emotional and painful rollercoaster the last couple of days," Mattek-Sands said during an emotional Facebook Live chat Saturday morning.
"I'm heading to New York City tomorrow to see some more doctors to see what's really going on with my knee. I'm going to be needing surgery. I'll be out for a while."
The 32-year-old Mattek-Sands, ranked 99th in the world, sustained the injury during a point in the opening game of the third set against Cirstea. Mattek-Sands continued to scream in pain for 15 minutes as the crowd remained silent, and she pleaded for more painkillers. She was on the court for about 25 minutes before she was lifted onto a cart and taken to nearby Parkside Hospital. Cirstea was credited with the win, 4-6, 7-6 (4).
Mattek-Sands, wearing a brace on her right leg, fought back tears as she described Thursday's events to her fans.
"I remember taking a step, my leg not being able to hold me, and I went down," she said. "My knee felt tight. I took a look at it, and something was wrong. I knew it was dislocated or broken. At that point, I freaked out. That's probably when you all heard me drop an f-bomb. It was one of the most painful injuries in my career.
"I was giving some of the medics a hard time because I didn't feel like any of the pain medication was kicking in. I just remember everyone getting ready to straighten my leg, and I told (my husband) Justin, 'If anyone straightens my leg, I'm going to kill you.' I think you heard that, too. I was in pain. I said, 'I want to be knocked out in the hospital before they do it.'
"When I woke up, I remember all these thoughts going through my mind about rehab and my chance at Wimbledon, doubles with Lucie (Safarova). ... I've read most of your messages. I can't reply to all of them, but the support has been amazing. I'll get through this."