Simon threatens to sue Wimbledon over ‘unacceptable’ play on wet grass
Fuming Gilles Simon threatened to sue Wimbledon officials for making him play on potentially dangerous wet grass during his second-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.Wimbledon 2016 Updated: Jun 30, 2016 23:35 IST
Fuming Gilles Simon threatened to sue Wimbledon officials for making him play on potentially dangerous wet grass during his second-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.
Simon slumped to a 6-3, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4 loss on Court One and the French 16th seed blamed tournament supervisors who insisted the match should continue despite a brief period of light rain.
Already frustrated he had been asked to play on when it was raining in the early stages of the match on Wednesday, Simon was incensed to be in the same situation again when the tie resumed 24 hours later.
Simon exchanged words with umpire John Blom when drizzle fell during the second set and was heard to say: “If I play and get injured, I will sue you and you will pay”.
The former Wimbledon quarter-finalist was still seething several hours after the match and repeated his threat to sue in his press conference.
“I hate to play when it’s raining. I never understood when they forcing us to go on the court when the court is slippery. It’s just not acceptable for me,” he said.
“I feel the day I’m going to get injured on slippery grass, I’m going to sue everyone in the stadium, because we try to understand what is happening in both parties, like tournaments and players, but in one point yesterday it was just ridiculous.
“I’m just going to tell you what the supervisor told me, and I let you decide how you feel when someone is telling you this straight into your face.
“He told me, It’s raining but the water is not going to the ground. Like it’s really light rain and it’s there and it stays in the air and it’s flying away. So the grass is not wet.
“And I have to answer that. So in the match you just see me on TV, like I’m pissed, yes, I’m pissed because I want to destroy him.”
Simon insisted it isn’t only Wimbledon that he has a problem with because he believes the other three Grand Slams all have a relaxed attitude to player safety.
Citing the example of the Australian Open, where play often continues in extreme heat, Simon added: “It’s happening in basically every slam, so it’s not just here.
“In Australia when they force us to play when it’s 44 degrees and the doctor says, Yeah, it’s fine, they can go.
“I think the tournament just got lucky that nothing really serious happens on the court for player, like someone breaking his leg on slippery court or someone feeling really bad when it’s 44.”
This isn’t the first time the 31-year-old has caused a stir with his strong opinions at Wimbledon.
In 2012, he angered Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova after claiming women didn’t deserve the same prize money as men.