As I was going through the US Open Men’s Singles draw earlier today, I happened to notice that there were what appeared to be a high amount of in match retirements. What I found was that through the completion of the first round and half of the second round there have been a total of six in match retirements. This equals the highest single year total from at least 2005 and it is only the second round. That means that there have been more in match retirements in the first two rounds of the 2011 US Open than any of the past six tournaments at Flushing Meadows.
Three of these retirements have interestingly come from qualifiers (Niland, Sorensen, Dancevic) including Novak Djokovic’s first round opponent, Connor Niland, who retired after just over 40 minutes due to food poisoning. It is extremely unfortunate to have to grind out three tough qualifying matches on the outside courts the week before the Open and then succumb to injury in the first round of the Main Draw.
I think this high occurrence of retirements is more easily explained by simply citing that a coincidence has occurred as there no evidence that these retirements are somehow connected due to some uncontrollable variable such as heat or humidity.
With over a week left before the final major of the year reaches this conclusion, don’t expect many more r’s in the draw as every match is do or die in the final grand slam of the year.