'Horrific': Tennis world in shock over 'freak' on-court accident

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Tim Puetz, pictured here hitting himself in the eye with his racquet.
The handle of Tim Puetz's racquet hit him in the eye. Image: Tennis TV

Doubles specialist Tim Puetz has been injured in a freak accident at the Qatar Open.

The German player was forced to retire from his match with Freddie Nielsen against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah when he accidentally hit himself in the eye with his racquet.'

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Attempting to return a serve down the middle, Puetz flung out his racquet but accidentally let go of it.

The racquet then bounced on its frame, sending the handle straight back into Puetz's eye.

The German cried out in pain as he hunched over on the court, with fellow players and officials rushing to his aid.

Chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani gave Puetz a bag of ice before medical staff came on to check on him.

"I cannot see very well," Puetz told a trainer.

"Freddie I can see pretty well when I'm stationary. But if I look around, I can't see very well."

Tim Puetz and Danish Nielsen, pictured here in action at the European Open in Antwerp in 2020.
Tim Puetz and Danish Nielsen in action at the European Open in Antwerp in 2020. (Photo by LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Farah sent his well wishes to Puetz after the match.

"I feel very sorry for Tim," he said in his on-court interview.

"It's something none of us want, to get hit in the eye, and I really hope he recovers really well."

Tennis TV labelled it a "horrific" accident on Facebook, while fans were stunned by the crazy mishap.

Federer suffers brutal collapse in Qatar Open loss

Meanwhile, Roger Federer's hopes of winning a fourth title in Qatar have been dashed after his quarter-final exit but the Swiss said his first event after two knee surgeries was just a "stepping stone" as he targeted full fitness for the grasscourt season.

Federer took the opening set against Nikoloz Basilashvili on Thursday before the Georgian fought back from a match point down in the final set to win 3-6 6-1 7-5, ending the 39-year-old's challenge in his first event in 14 months.

"I'm actually happy that I was able to play back-to-back three-set matches against top players. That's an important step forward to me," Federer, who beat Dan Evans in the last-16, told reporters.

"I'm not 100% yet. I can feel it, I can see it. From that standpoint, (what's) important is to be 100% by the grasscourt season... I'm still building up.

"So this is a stepping stone. I'm actually happy how I felt today on court overall.

"I was very happy with how I was able to handle the tough moments. I didn't feel like my game started to wobble the more important the points got.

"I think I was able to play how I wanted to play, so I think that's always a great sign and a great feeling to have."

with AAP

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