Akiko Morigami and Nicole Pratt play a first set that lasts for well over an hour.
Pratt is hustling, grunting and scrambling - feeding her succumbing opponent all the dead balls and loopy spin she can muster.
Slowly, Akiko begins to become pale and continues to hold her leg. She pulls out the first set 7-6 by running Pratt around the court... despite this... Pratt is jogging back to the chair, ready to head back onto court and continue hacking balls back at her japanese opponent.
Pratt goes up to 3-0 in the second set ..... Morigami limps all over the court, often shaking her head with doubt... grimace on her face, clearly in pain... she is cramping severly and constantly looking over to her support team.
Australians in the crowd are cheering as loudly as possible.... screaming every chant they can think of.- At first this was great because it was such a competitive match... however, the australian commentators, as well as the american crowd grew tired of this... The crowd refused to join a mexican wave started by the 10-15 aussies, who booed and jeered when the crowd didn't follow their lead!
The trainer covers most of Morigami's limbs with ice during a break in the 2nd set.
Morigami is clearly told by the trainer she has no options... her cramps were too serious... (there is an awful image of Morigami's calf muscle bulging out of her leg as she is walking... the muscle would not relax, it remained flexed - it is a sickening sight)
Morigami persists to play 2-3 games in which she did not win a point, hit 4 doubles and did not move an inch for any of pratt's shots. The crowd was silent... the commentators were stating she should retire asap. Pratt was not even needing to rally the ball.... Morigami was begining to cry!
The trained gets so frustrated with Akiko's refusal to retire the match, that she walks off nodding her head in disaproval - leaving Akiko on the chair.
Aikiko loses the second set 6-0 in about 15 min, then cannot get up to play the 3rd set! ... her crying becomes far more obvious... she starts hyper-ventilating... her breathing is so heavy and fast everyone can hear it. Everone is silent (except the aussies who are steal cheering loudly).
After sitting in the chair for about 5 full minutes balling her eyes out the medical staff rush over to her as she has a complete panic attack...
A wheelchair is brought over and a Morigami was forced to breath into a paper bag! they lifted her onto a wheelchair as she was completely paralysed only her head was shaking!
All the while - to everyones dismay... the aussies are still screaming! - some one them questioning Morigami.... Through her tears, in broken english, Morigami screamed out "I'm Done!" to the Australian contingent - who responded by clapping!
What an awful experience for her. Having to deal with all that! Her refusal to retire the match caused the situation to become worse for her... she should not have played 3-4 games of standing there watching the ball fly past.
Also, aussies aren't the most intellegent race of people.... they were screaming and chanting whilst she was is hysterical tears!
I will say one thing though.... Pratt is fit and steely like a little bulldog... she looked ready to play another 8-9 sets of retreiving style tennis!
----It was all very dramatic to watch - as well as slightly disturbing.