'Diabolically Slippery': Queen's Club Courts Under Fire After Tiafoe Retirement

'Diabolically Slippery': Queen's Club Courts Under Fire After Tiafoe Retirement

by Nurein Ahmed

The playing surface at the Cinch Championships at Queen's has come under heavy criticism following Frances Tiafoe's retirement from his opening match.

Tiafoe was embroiled in a long battle against Rinky Hijikata on Court 1 during the opening day of the 2024 edition. In the second game of the deciding set, the American fell awkwardly on the court and began walking gingerly.

He would not continue the match because of the pain in his hip, and he trudged to the net to shake hands with Hijikata. The World No. 28 is known for his supreme movement on the court, but he was not the only player who struggled with his balance.

Holger Rune, who bowed out from the tournament in a three-set loss to Jordan Thompson, also fell on multiple occasions, after which he said, "It was quite slippery, to be honest. I mean, I think I slipped maybe three times. One time was quite important."

Tiafoe's slip and subsequent retirement from his match sparked a strong reaction from countryman John Isner on X. The retired former World No. 8 called out the state of the courts at Queen's Club as an occupational hazard, referring to an incident five years back when Juan Martin Del Potro hurt his knee and needed multiple surgeries.

"Queens is undoubtedly one of the best events of year, but the courts are diabolically slippery, especially on Monday and Tuesday. Just ask DelPo. Sucks for Frances, hope he can recover for SW19."

Isner wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response to Tiafoe's retirement at Queen's

On Tuesday, there was a second retirement caused by the slippery surface. Former British No. 1 Daniel Evans called it quits just before the start of the third set in his match against Brandon Nakashima on the same court that cost Tiafoe his match on Monday. He suffered a nasty slip just behind the baseline during a rally and was in a heap of pain.


You may also like