John Isner and Thanasi Kokkinakis comment on Frances Tiafoe's injury

Isner and Kokkinakis were no surprised that Tiafoe got hurt in Queens
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Injuries are inevitable in tennis. However, retired American player John Isner and current Australian player Thanasi Kokkinakis's reactions to Frances Tiafoe's injury on Monday indicate that maybe it could have been prevented.

Tiafoe was playing his first round match in Queens when he slipped on the grass and suffered a nasty fall. Shortly thereafter, Tiafoe, who was visibly limping, had to retire from the match.

Both Isner and Kokkinakis took to social media to share their thoughts on Tiafoe's injury. Both hoped that Tiafoe's injury is minor but were not surprised by it.

What John Isner and Thanasi Kokkinakis said about Frances Tiafoe's injury

John Isner retired in 2023, but he remembers how slippery the Queens grass courts were on the first days of the tournament. Kokkinakis is not playing at Queens this year, and he hinted that the notoriously slippery courts were part of the reason he chose not to play.

It would be bad enough if the slippery conditions were a function of the weather or something happening this year, but the fact that two players have observed a pattern of slippery surfaces at this tournament over a period of years is deplorable.

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This is another example of the professional tennis tours, ATP and WTA, not taking care of their players. It is the longest and most challenging season in sports with 11 months of tournaments and commitments. The fact that the ATP did not hold the tournament director accountable for the playing conditions for years is a sad and truthful reality about tennis. Making money and selling tickets are higher priorities than caring for the players. At some juncture in the future, there may come a breaking point where the players begin to say no and work to change their conditions.

It is not just the smaller tournaments either. The Grand Slams prioritize money over player well-being. The French Open's decision to have Novak Djokovic play until 3 AM is just one example.

Could professional tennis eventually unionize? The NFL has its Players' Association which negotiates contracts between the players and the owners. Most major sports have a union and have gone on strike in the past if their issues could not be negotiated in ample time before the season. This could be a far-fetched comparison, but if two reputable players like Isner and Kokkinakis can go on Twitter and share stories about their experiences in years past at Queens while watching one of their own go down with an injury, it seems like something should be done on the players' behalf.

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