London: Bethanie Mattek-Sands broke down in tears on Saturday as she relived the sickening knee injury which shocked Wimbledon and has left her facing surgery to repair a ruptured patella.
The 32-year-old American collapsed to the court after her knee buckled in her second round match against Sorana Cirstea on Thursday.
She was left screaming in pain: "Please, help me, please, please" in scenes so distressing that TV cameras panned away from the stricken star.
On Saturday, Mattek-Sands said she had ruptured the patella in her knee and will need surgery.
"I have had lots of injuries in my career but this is definitely the worst. I am flying to New York on Sunday to see more doctors to see what's going on with the knee," an emotional Mattek-Sands said in a Facebook Live video.
"I will be out for a while but I will get through this."
Mattek-Sands, the winner of 24 doubles titles including seven at the majors as well as a mixed doubles gold at the Rio Olympics last year, said she has yet to see the video of the incident.
"I remember I heard a pop in my leg and everything went slow after that," she said from her hospital room in Wimbledon.
"My knee felt really tight and I knew it was either dislocated or broken. I freaked out. It's the most painful injury I have ever had."
Concerns were raised over the amount of time it took a medical crew to reach Mattek-Sands even though Court 17 is just a stone's throw from the tournament's Centre Court.
Cirstea said only she, her physio and Justin Mattek-Sands, the player's husband, attended to the American star and said it took around 10-15 minutes for a stretcher to arrive.
"I have seen photos and Justin telling me not to look at the leg but I said 'fyi, I have already looked at it," she added.
"I said please cover it up. Sorana came over and said it's OK. She was there as my friend."
"I also remember telling the medics that if they tried to straighten my leg, I'd kill them! I want to be knocked out in hospital when you do it."
"I gave the medics a hard time because I didn't feel the pain medication was kicking in. Then I woke up in hospital and my leg was straight."
Mattek-Sands has her right leg in a brace and had been visited by close friend Sania Mirza as well as Cirstea.
Messages of support have also poured in while her Rio Olympic mixed doubles gold medal winning partner Jack Sock even painted her name on his tennis shoes when he played on Friday night.
Published Date: Jul 08, 2017 07:45 pm | Updated Date: Jul 08, 2017 07:46 pm