Whether it’s the luck of the draw, improved fitness or cooler temperatures, the women at this year’s US Open stayed on the court come rain or shine.
For just the second time in the past decade, there were no – zero – retirements in the women’s main draw at the 2017 US Open.
With 127 matches scheduled for singles play, it seems more likely than not that at least one player will succumb to an injury or ailment over the course of the 14 days, whether it’s the result of a preexisting ache or strain, an untimely slip or heat-related cramping.
Sam Stosur pulled out 10 days before the start of the tournament with a continuing right-hand injury, and Timea Bacsinszky withdrew four days earlier with left leg and right hand injuries, reducing the number of players who had earned direct acceptance into the main draw but were not 100 percent fit.
The last time there were no retirements in the women’s draw was in 2013, and prior to that it was in 2007.
There were four retirements between 2015 and 2016, all in the first round, and three each in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
At the other end of the spectrum, in the seven women’s singles tournaments between 2001 and 2007, six of the years were completed without a single retirement. The 2005 draw featured three retirements, which is tied for the most in a women’s singles draw in the past 20 years.
In those two decades, there has only been one retirement after the third round – when Mary Pierce called it a day after the first set of her fourth-round encounter with Anke Huber. The last player to retire at a later stage was Natasha Zvereva, who stopped three games into her quarterfinal against No. 2 seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in 1993.
It’s not exactly comparing apples with apples since the men play best-of-five set matches, but there were as many retirements in the 2017 men’s singles tournament (six) as there were in 1,270 matches in the women’s draw in the 10 years from 2001-10.