• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Players in tennis match race to be the first to quit

In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In some sports, tapping out early is a sign of weakness. In tennis, it can be good strategy … as long as not everyone’s trying it.

Sachia Vickery of the United States and Elise Mertens of Belgium were exactly one game into a WTA event in Hobart, Australia. During the changeover between games, both called for a trainer—the customary first move when there’s a possibility of injury. It’s rare to call a trainer after just one game, and even more rare for both players to do so.

But with all due respect to the WTA Hobart event, it’s not the Australian Open, which is ramping up right now. Both Vickery and Mertens wanted to compete in a qualifying event with the hopes of playing their way into the Grand Slam tournament. And thus, the less time on the court at Hobart, the better.

Both players had a bit of a trainer standoff, with Vickery opting to retire first. Easy enough, right? Retiring is a low-risk, high-potential-reward approach that can give a player extra time to rest and recover while avoiding the possibility for significant injury.

Vickery currently ranks 135th Last year she was bounced in the qualifying round of 32, and has never advanced farther than the round of 128. Mertens, meanwhile, ranks eight slots ahead of Vickery, and lost in the qualifying round of 64 last year, her first appearance in the Australian Open.
____
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.