Wimbledon Not An Ideal Place For Grass Allergies

If you’re born with a stutter, don’t go into public speaking. If you’re born without hands and feet, don’t go into MMA. And if you’re allergic to grass, maybe professional tennis player isn’t the job for you.

Viktor Troicki

Viktor Troicki is allergic to grass, and not in the Rafael-Nadal-is-only-good-on-clay sense. As if having to play national hero Andy Murray in front of a partisan audience today isn’t enough, the court itself is actively trying to kill him. How will he cope? How will he survive? Finally, some drama in tennis.

By the second set, Troicki usually has a running nose and itchy, watery eyes. By the third set, he’s wheezing and sneezing. And it’s made worse by tennis’ strict drug policies, in which most antihistamines are legally iffy.

“I’m allergic to grass courts, not just at Wimbledon but at other tournaments as well. There is something in the air that bothers me,” said Troicki, who will be making a first appearance on Centre Court as he plays Murray for a place in the last 16.

It was never a big problem for Troicki, because growing up in Belgrade there were no grass courts in the entire country. He now practices in Halle, Germany on grass, which isn’t helping - he lost in the first round of a tournament there earlier this month.

He’s never won an event, though his best showing was a doubles quarterfinal appearance at — you guessed it — the French Open.

Oh, and Troicki just got owned by Murray in straight sets.