It was just a play on words, of course, when the Florida newspapers said that Sam Querrey had “let’’ Ryan Sweeting win Wednesday. It did involve a disputed let-call. But it’s a bad choice of words for Querrey.
Sweeting said it showed “how good of a guy’’ Querrey is. The Fort Lauderdale paper called it a classy move on Querrey’s part.
I’m not so sure. It’s always nice to see examples of good sportsmanship, but is that what we saw when the chair ump said, after match point, “Ladies and Gentlemen. Mr. Querrey has conceded the point?””
Or was this just another example of Querrey’s fatal flaw. I’m going with the second choice.
Here’s what happened: Sweeting won the first set in a tiebreaker. He was up 5-4 in the second set, serving at Ad-in. Match point. So Sweeting hit a first serve into the corner, thought he had an ace, pumped his fist and yelled “YEAH!’’
With his own yelling, and with the crowd cheering his victory over Querrey, Sweeting didn’t hear the chair umpire calling a let. Sweeting needed to play the point over.
So he got ready to argue, and then Querrey approached and shook his hand and said “You’re good. Good serve.’’
Well, it’s all nice and impressive to do something like that, especially on match point. But consider that in his post-match press conference, Querrey also said this:
“I heard a let.’’
“It was a good serve. I had three other calls go my way that I probably didn’t agree with.’’
I’m not getting this at all. He heard the let, and conceded the point anyway?
Is that really sportsmanship? If Querrey had stayed alive on a bad call, then yes, that would be good sportsmanship to concede the point.
But Querrey thought it was the right call. He knew it was. If he thought he was unfairly benefitting from bad calls earlier in the match, and didn’t like that, then he should have conceded those points at the time.
It sounds as if he just didn’t feel like playing any more. And if you were Sweeting, would you have been insulted that someone let you win like that?