Serena Williams is glad her injury keeps her from realizing a long-shot Wimbledon goal

WIMBLEDON — Wimbledon’s officials were thrilled with the grasscourts Friday and said the playing conditions after a grueling heat wave were “good.” Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam winner, was already looking forward to…

Serena Williams is glad her injury keeps her from realizing a long-shot Wimbledon goal

WIMBLEDON — Wimbledon’s officials were thrilled with the grasscourts Friday and said the playing conditions after a grueling heat wave were “good.”

Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam winner, was already looking forward to Monday’s first day of play because she has never won a Wimbledon title on the surface.

In terms of injuries, however, WTA tournament director Christian Boehm says “none happened.” But they did feel like some players slipped.

“We are happy with the grass in general and the condition of the courts,” Boehm said. “I think we could do a bit better.”

Boehm added he thought the running track “was a bit scary and a little bit thick.” It was partly to blame for eight matches being suspended because of darkness before the rain dropped.

Not surprisingly, neither of the top two players in the world was completely confident with the look of the courts. The runner-up at the French Open, Marin Cilic, who held the top ranking until the last month’s U.S. Open, was disappointed.

“I think it was tricky, for the players and, of course, the fans,” said Cilic, who fell 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round on Thursday. “We saw a few small dips in the court. I’m sure at a certain point we can stop and build the surface more for the players. For me, personally, I would love for the same court to be serve and volley only.”

Serena Williams, who came into Wimbledon with a chance to break Margaret Court’s long run of Australian Open titles, struggled after slipping on the stairs in her locker room. The 17-time Grand Slam champion limped throughout her first-round match against Magdalena Rybarikova and withdrew with a right thigh injury.

She said she is OK for Monday.

For the most part, the action has been under the roof. The heat wave is long gone, but there was a persistent drizzle and some intermittent showers on Friday, followed by wind that reached 40 mph at times.

“I actually like the conditions because I’m from outside,” 13th-seeded Karolina Pliskova said. “It’s the first time for me on the grass, but I was happy with the result.”

It’s a change from the first week when wind and rain kept many matches suspended. Maria Sharapova called for it. Some players struggled with the conditions, particularly women’s doubles.

“Every player sometimes falls on the court, and it could have been more dangerous,” 12th-seeded Kiki Bertens said. “That’s why I asked for the call from the match referee.”

Pliskova came close to calling it quits in her match against American Tennys Sandgren on Thursday, but she decided to take another spin on the court that day and then feel better for Friday’s first-round match.

She had no problems with the conditions, either.

“It was really good,” Pliskova said. “I didn’t feel the level of the grass or the bounce. My game felt good.”

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