Re: Matches where players retired to prevent beatdowns?
The consensus in this thread seems to be that it is ignoble to quit when suffering a beating. There is obviously a mental element in this sport and such factor varies in every player as we are all unique. If one believes one cannot win then ergo one will not win. The most startlingly example of this hypothesis has to be the 1988 FO finals. Prior to the match in an interview Natalia Zvereva averred she had no chance against Steffi Graf. And lo and behold not only was it 6-0, 6-0 for Steffi, but this match lasted only 32 minutes- I repeat 32 minutes less time than an average competitive set minus even a tie breaker. Natalia won only 14 points in toto.
So I suggest it is fairer to the spectators that a player does retire when she is not mentally there and the withdrawal is as legitimate as say a broken ankle. I recall in a men’s 2nd round match in either the ’11 or ’10 AO (I forget which) where Tipsarevic did not convert several MPS during the 4th set, and his opponent (a Spaniard I think Verdasco) forced a tie-breaker. From then on Tipsarevic obviously mentally beaten, offered no competition. He did not attempt to return any of Verdasco’s serves nor did he attempt to win any points on his own serve as he lost the 4th set tie breaker 7-0 and the fifth set 6-0. BTW that set was not a golden set as Verdasco inexplicitly double faulted some serves- maybe purposely to antagonize his opponent further.
The bottom line is that I think Kerber’s withdrawal of a match she was not going to win is a more admirable decision than continuing to play and offer only token competition.