Tennis Hate was rolling through Indian Hells like norovirus on a cruise ship. Many succumbed to the pressure. Racquets -- and brackets -- were busted.
First to succumb to the nausea at the BNP Paribas Open: Sam Querry. The Californian native curled up and died after blowing 2 match points against 29th-seed Andreas Seppi of Italy in the second set, losing 4-6 7-6(3) 6-3. The loss adds to the crisis of confidence Sam's been going through since elbow surgery in 2011 and an abdominal injury late last year. Once ranked as high as 17 in the world in 2011, he's now 57, and trending downwards.
Tennis Channel commentator and former number one Jim Courier, who's Querry's Davis Cup captain, said the solution to a loss of confidence is a win. "It's pretty hard to be positive when you're where Sam's at these days," he said. Ouch.
Isn't this what I've always told you, Haters? Winning helps cure Tennis Hate. It's just that Tennis Hate often gets in the way of winning.
Sabine Lisicki was just two points away from sailing into the third round when she mentally vomited.
Sabine Lisicki, seeded 15th, was up 4-0 in the third set but lost focus and let it get to a tiebreaker against the unseeded Aleksander Wozniak of Canada. Then, in that tiebreak, the German was just two points away from sailing into the third round, leading 5-2, when she mentally vomited. She lost to Wozniak , 4-6 7-6(3) 6-3.
Lisicki joined fellow Germans Angelique Kerber (seeded 5th) and Julia Goerges on the shuttle bus to the airport.
Over on Court Three, it was a Tennis Hate dream matchup between two hotheads, Italian Fabio Fognini and American Ryan Harrison. It was Harrison who cracked first, smashing his racquet after Fognini built up a 5-2 lead in the first set.
That got the other racquets in his bag to think twice about their poor performance. After that brutal display of Tennis Hate, Harrison won six games in a row, snatching the first set away from Fognini, 7-5, and getting to an early break to lead Fognini 1-0 in the second.
At set point in that topsy-turvy first set, Fognini looked "over it" to The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg, who Tweeted he "smack[ed] a return to the sky."
What's that Italian swear word that Pope Francis inadvertantly used? Cazzo? Yeah, I'll bet Fognini was muttering that a lot as Harrison used Tennis Hate to his advantage.
Fognini tried the tactic himself, getting into a shouting match with the chair umpire over a line call he didn't like. It worked. Or, more likely, his return game started to work. He started getting a feel for Harrison's booming serve, improving his return game from just 18% of return points won to 35%. And he started feasting on Harrison's second serve. Fognini rolled over Harrison in the second set and won the match, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.