Startling screams as Bethanie Mattek-Sands injures knee at Wimbledon
LONDON — The screams were startling.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a 32-year-old American who came to Wimbledon eyeing a fourth consecutive Grand Slam doubles title, fell to the grass when her right knee buckled as she moved toward the net in a second-round singles match Thursday.
She immediately clutched her knee and, down on the turf, wailed loudly, imploring for someone to “Help me! Help me!”
Her opponent, Sorana Cirstea, immediately climbed over the net to check on Mattek-Sands, who after about 20 minutes was removed from Court 17 on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.
“Her knee was in a very weird position. I’ve never seen anything like this, probably, except in the movies. And, yeah, I panicked a little bit, as well,” Cirstea said. “Then I called for help, but no one was coming. Then tried to comfort her as much as I could. But, I mean, you could feel the pain.”
The extent of Mattek-Sands’ injury, which came in the third set’s opening game, was not immediately known. But word quickly spread around the grounds, generating concern among players. She’s popular on tour, known for her gregarious personality, loud laugh and original fashion choices, including the stars-and-stripes knee-high socks she wore while teaming with Jack Sock to win a mixed-doubles gold medal for the U.S. at last year’s Rio Olympics.
“It’s the peak of her career right now,” said Bob Bryan, whose twin brother Mike won the 2015 French Open mixed-doubles title with Mattek-Sands. “She’s a fun-loving girl. She doesn’t have any enemies in the locker room.”
She’s also quite a doubles player, ranked No. 1 right now after teaming with Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic to win the past three major championships and a total of five.
Safarova heard about Mattek-Sands on TV and ran to her court, then stood nearby and wiped away […]