Tennis and hockey and barf
Posted: March 13th, 2012 - 6:54pm
An outbreak of illness might have more to do with the final results than the actual tennis at the BNP Paribas Open tournament in Indian Wells, California, 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."
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.
In Michigan, the Taylor Sportsplex was evacuated Sunday after an unknown illness swept a wave of hockey players into local emergency rooms, according to officials.
Fire Chief Bob Tompos said about 20-25 high-school-age hockey players got sick simultaneously with apparent flu-like symptoms, causing several players to vomit on benches and inside the locker room.
The sudden occurrance prompted a call to the fire department to investigate the building as the sick players began heading to nearby hospitals with families. Some went by ambulance if parents weren't yet on the scene. "Rather than make them wait, we wanted to err on the side of caution," Tompos said, "so they were transported [by ambulance] with implied consent." An official evacuation was called about 10:30 p.m.
Firefighters first checked the building's air quality to rule out issues like unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. "The oxygen level was fine, so we weren't too concerned about that," Tompos said, adding that other samples from the Sportsplex — including the water supply — will immediately be sent to an independent lab in the morning for analysis. Unseasonably warm temperatures and possibly the crowd's size caused the air conditioning syste to unexpectantly kick on, so air duct samples also will get tested, Tompos said.