An outbreak of illness might have more to do with the final results than the actual tennis at the BNP Paribas Open tournament, which is about to move into its second week.
In late-in-the-day matches Sunday, third-seeded Petra Kvitova, last year’s Wimbledon champion, was ousted by fast-rising American Christina McHale, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, and said afterward that she had been ill, had taken antibiotics and had “lost a bit of my fitness.”
She had started fast, then yielded as McHale didn’t crumble --"I just kind of hung in there,” McHale said -- and eventually handed McHale a major boost when she double faulted twice to fall behind 5-3 in the final set.
Roger Federer went through his opponent, Denis Kudla of the U.S., 6-4, 6-1, and then, looking pale and sounding hoarse, admitted afterward in his news conference that he wasn’t feeling well, nor were members of his family.
“I’m the best off in the family,” he said.
At least eight players have defaulted since the tournament began, most of them complaining of a stomach virus.