10th seeded Belgian tennis star David Goffin had to retire from his French Open third round match against Horacio Zeballos on Friday after an injury to his ankle during the run of play in the first set.
Leading the set with the scoreline 5-4, Goffin chased down the ball heading towards the back of the court for a return, but got his right foot jammed underneath the rolled-up tarpaulin covers as he slid and ultimately tumbled into the wall and the linesman's chair at the Suzanne Lenglen court.
Looking visibly in pain, the Belgian ace clutched his knee as the medical team rushed to probe the injury sustained.
The 26-year-old eventually retired from the match in the locker room after doctors informed officials Goffin was in no state to continue.
The tennis fraternity has joined in unison in support of Goffin to make a full recovery with Spanish ace Rafael Nadal blaming the authorities for the outcome.
Yahoo Sports quoted the former world number one saying: "It's terrible. It's really bad luck. I always thought that that tarp was dangerous and not in the right place.
"I'm really sorry for him, because he was playing really well, and he had every opportunity to get to the next round. He's a great guy. I hope it's not serious."
He believes despite making them aware of dangerous consequences that might occur from the placing of the covers, the hierarchy never gave any attention until the accident happened.
Nadal was joined by compatriot Garbine Muguruza, who reiterated the same, stating her own example for a similar incident earlier in her career.
Speaking on the issue, the Roland Garros women's champion said: "Four years ago, I think, I hurt my ankle on the court with a tarp, as well.
"I was trying to catch a lob, and my ankle was caught under the tarp. I saw the video. It's the same that happened to Goffin.
"On center court there is a lot of room, so it is quite unfortunate. But maybe the tarp should be more to the side."
Thierry van Cleemput, the coach of Goffin, revealed that the player had undergone an MRI scan with results stating no break in his leg.
"The objective is to have optimal safety for all players on the courts, and here at Roland Garros the staff is professional enough," said Van Cleemput.
"Of course they have asked themselves all of these questions (about the position of the rolled-up tarpaulin covers). I don't think that this event will be followed by no consequences. There will be consequences."
In the turn of events, Argentine opposition Zeballos reached the last 16 for the first time in his pro career, where he will face either of Dominic Thiem or Steve Johnson.
However, his sporting gesture of carrying the Belgian's bag off the court was acknowledged by applause from the crowd.
The South American later said: "The thing with this court is that it's very big. It's huge. It's six metres from the baseline to the end.
"But still, of course, it's a little danger."
It remains to be seen if the authorities take action before dire consequences happen in the iconic event, and it is indeed the responsibility of the chiefs to guarantee safety for the players before the action begins at the prestigious venue.
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