When you throw a ball down onto a hard, flat surface on planet Earth, so long as it has a sufficient coefficient of restitution, it bounces back up. That’s just physics. (See? Physics.) It’s a fact of our world – not to mention the reason many sports (tennis among them) are possible to play. Balls bounce, because that’s how it is…except for a specific spot on one court at the Australian Open.
Yes, somehow, some way, one area of Hisense Arena in Melbourne defied the only laws governing the physical world we’ve ever known. Yes, it looked freaky:
Needless to say, the scheduled match between Maria Sharapova and Julia Goerges couldn’t go on with the court an apparent risk to warp the fabric of the universe as we know it. Some worried Australians were hoarding all the gravity for themselves. A frightening proposition indeed…but as it turned out, the problem was pretty easily fixed.
As it turned out, drilling a couple holes in the court to get rid of an apparent air pocket did the trick. (Good call by ESPN’s Brad Gilbert in raising just that possibility, by the way.) While not quite as compelling as it would have been if the dead spot were, say, a portal to another dimension with gravitational forces far exceeding anything the human race has ever experienced, at least they got to play the match (Sharapova won 4-6, 6-4, 6-4).