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Injury drama and upsets unfold at Wimbledon: Cornet collapses

Alize Cornet

Disturbing scenes unfolded on Wimbledon‘s Centre Court on Thursday when Alizé Cornet, a French player, suffered a devastating injury.

Cornet, ranked 74th in the world and known for her exceptional fitness, was competing against defending champion Elena Rybakina, the third seed. Rybakina’s prowess was evident as she had eliminated last year’s tournament winner, Iga Swiatek, in a stunning upset.

The first set went smoothly for Rybakina, who won it 6-2. However, Cornet fought back fiercely in the second set. Tragedy struck during a grueling game on Rybakina’s serve when the score was tied at 5-5. The game had already surpassed 10 minutes.

On the 27th point and 11th deuce, Cornet slipped awkwardly on the tennis court, causing her to fall and painfully twist her knee. In agony, she clutched her hip and remained motionless on her stomach for several seconds. Both the umpire and Rybakina rushed to her aid.

Eventually, Cornet managed to rise to her knees and then stood up with great caution. However, she struggled to put weight on her injured leg, which was already heavily bandaged.

After hobbling back to her seat, a tearful Cornet took a lengthy medical break. A trainer administered painkillers and applied additional strapping to her knee.

Despite being visibly devastated, Cornet displayed a strong determination to continue, considering her dominance over Rybakina in much of the second set.

Upon her return to the court, it became apparent that her mobility was severely compromised, and Rybakina’s victory seemed inevitable. The seemingly never-ending game quickly reached its conclusion. Cornet did manage to hold her serve and force a tiebreak but lost it 7-2.

In a compassionate gesture, Rybakina walked over to Cornet’s side of the net to shake hands, sparing her the need to limp to the net.

In her post-match interview on court, Rybakina admitted, “I started the match with good energy, but it became tougher in the second set. I wasn’t moving as well. That 5-5 game was challenging and lengthy. So, it was a tough match, but I’m pleased to win in straight sets and advance to the next round.”

Rybakina’s opponent in the third round will be the crowd favourite, British wildcard Katie Boulter. Recognising the home advantage, Rybakina acknowledged, “Of course, I understand that the crowd won’t be on my side this time. Hopefully, it will be a good match, and everyone will enjoy it. I’m looking forward to it.”

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It proved to be a successful day for Britain, with Boulter securing a victory in her second-round match. In a remarkable turn of events, world number 142 Liam Broady caused a major upset by defeating the men’s fourth seed, Casper Ruud. Ruud, whether male or female, was the highest-ranked player to be eliminated thus far.

The match went to five sets, with Broady triumphing in the last two before an ecstatic home crowd. The final half-hour of the match was almost unbelievable, as the Brit broke Ruud’s serve three consecutive times to win the deciding set 6-0. The final score was 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

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