Quitters epidemic at York

STEVE SIMMONS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

The late Frank Sinatra could have been a star in women's tennis : The man knew how to retire.

So, it seems, do a whole lot of women on the professional tennis tour.

Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli retired from her quarter-final match at the Rogers Cup yesterday, marking the fifth such time a player has quit before finishing her match this week at the Rexall Centre.

Three of the in-match retirements came from seeded players.

It's bad enough that some players, such as superstar Maria Sharapova, quit on the tournament before it began: But it's worse when players pull the chute on matches the paying public is shelling out money for.

Bartoli, the No. 7 seed in the tournament, pulled out of her match with unheralded Yan Xi of China yesterday, with the score 6-2, 3-0. On TSN, commentator Tracy Austin remarked rather disgustedly that this has become an epidemic on the tour and "nobody ever pulls out when they're winning."

Strangely enough, Katarina Srebotnik, the No. 14 seed here, retired from her second round singles match, clearly unable to continue. Somehow Srebotnik played doubles last night, winning her match.

And if players pulling out isn't a problem, then players giving up certainly is.

Yesterday, former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia all but quit in her quarter-final match against Tatiana Golovin of France.

Kuznetsova won the first set rather handily. She lost a second set that should have seen her advance. In the third set, she basically stopped playing, losing 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Considering the magnitude of the round, the tennis couldn't have been less appealing.

Even the winner, Golovin, said afterwards she didn't think she played well.


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