Friday April 20th, 2012

Three players have gone down with horrible ankle injuries in Monte Carlo this week, and Rafael Nadal suspects there might be something wrong with the court surface. Juan Monaco, Julien Benneteau and Sebastien Couberes (in qualies) all retired from their matches this week due to ankle sprains, and in Benneteau's case, the fall also resulted in a fractured elbow, ruling him out of Roland Garros.

Below is Benneteau's fall Thursday against Andy Murray. (Warning: The below videos show painful injuries. Watch at your own discretion.)


See Monaco's fall on Tuesday against Robin Haase at the 10:40 mark:


Nadal, who knows this court better than anyone given that he's owned it for seven-straight years, was asked about whether the clay seemed more dangerous this year. Nadal says the problem isn't with the clay but with the unevenness of the court under the clay topcoat.

"If you find a part a little bit higher than the other one that's when you are dead," Nadal said after his 6-1, 6-1 win over Mikhail Kukushkin on Thursday.

"And it happens to the same place, in my opinion. It's bad luck. The guys who make the court they have to look around this afternoon in my opinion. I was scared and I played with tape in both ankles. But I think it's not a problem of the clay. Is the problem of probably that part of the court is a little bit different, not in perfect conditions."

Rafa might be on to something. If you watch the videos of both Benneteau and Monaco's falls they both happen in the same area of the court.

You can see Rafa's comments in full here:

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