Accidents Will Happen


Word comes from Bangkok that No. 25-ranked Sam Querrey fell through a glass table and cut his right forearm after a practice session at the Thailand Open. The Southern Californian, who underwent emergency surgery and will reportedly

miss four to six weeks, summed it all up succinctly via Twitter when he wrote: “Worst day ever.”

But Sam’s not alone in the somewhat dubious club of tennis players who’ve experienced freak accidents:

Helen Wills Moody once told Inside Tennis that her career came to an abrupt halt when she was bitten by a dog. (Said the Hall of Famer, “Fury! Wild, stupid animal! His owners didn’t say a word!”)

•In ’54, just two weeks after winning her third straight Wimbledon title, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly was horseback riding when a truck crushed her right leg, an injury that ended her career at age 19.

David Wheaton overcame a wrist injury he suffered when he put his hand through a dorm window while on Rollerblades at Stanford.

•Sciatica and other nagging injuries forced Tracy Austin from the court, and when she finally launched a comeback in ’89 she badly injured her right knee in a car accident.

•In ’89, only hours before his final matchup against Ivan Lendl in Key Biscayne, Fla., Thomas Muster was struck by a drunk driver and severed ligaments in his left knee. (The Austrian returned to the tour just six months later.)

•Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov missed the first month of the ’98 season after he was involved in a skiing accident in which he suffered knee damage.

Michael Chang tore the MCL in his left knee when he slipped while training with Andrei Medvedev in Indian Wells. (A sprinkler system had sprung into action on an adjacent clay court.)

•While walking on a beach in Miami in ’03, Croat Goran Ivanisevic cut his foot on a shell and was forced out of action for more than two months.

James Blake infamously broke his neck when he slipped on a Rome clay court and collided with the net post during a ’04 hitting session with pal Robby Ginepri. Later that summer, following the death of his father, he developed shingles, which temporarily paralyzed half his face.

•Canada’s Peter Polansky sleepwalked his way through a plate-glass window and fell three stories. (Miraculously, he survived and is still playing.)

•In ’05, Tommy Haas stepped on a tennis ball during a warm-up at Wimbledon. The German sprained his right ankle and was forced to forfeit.

Mardy Fish was visiting the NFL Europa team Rhein Fire in ’07 when he sprained ligaments in his foot while trying to kick a field goal. He missed the French Open.

So, Mr. Querrey, if you can find any solace in all this, know that you’re not alone.