Wimbledon: American Bethanie Mattek-Sands suffers horrific knee injury

Cirstea said she was surprised that it seemed to take so long for anyone to react to the injury.

U.S. star Bethanie Mattek-Sands was in the third and final set of her second-round singles match against Romanian Sorana Cirstea when her leg buckled and she fell to the ground in pain.

"It's quite unique with your opponent, after two games, you both agree on stopping playing in a slam", Mladenovic said, per the Guardian.

"It was heartbreaking to see her that way", said Cirstea.

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Mattek-Sands was eventually taken to hospital while Wimbledon said she had suffered an "acute knee injury", which Cirstea felt was a dislocated kneecap. But they insisted the stretcher was on court well before it was needed, stressing the correct medical procedures are to provide painkillers and keep the player motionless while they are being assessed.

"The first response to Court 17 was within one minute, by a qualified ambulance technician", an official All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club statement said, according to the Evening Standard.

"I know what she has been through with the injuries".

Messages of support poured in for Mattek-Sands, well known on the tour for her flamboyant fashion sense and friendly, easy-going nature.

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Safarova was inconsolable after the horrific injury to her doubles partner.

"It's just bad what happened, obviously I'm very sad for her", Safarova said, speaking barely above a whisper after losing her singles match. I called for help, but no one was coming. The 32-year-old fell to the ground as her right knee buckled, she immediately starting crying and screaming in pain.

Ben Rothenberg‏ of the New York Times reported a stretcher was needed to take her off the court.

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