Posts Tagged ‘Wimbledon’

John Isner finally completed an 11-hour, five-minute first-round victory over three days that represents his first-ever Wimbledon victory.

His reward?

A second-round match on Friday.

Good luck.

Actually, it doesn’t matter how Isner fares in the second-round against Thiemo De Bakker. He and Nicolas Mahut have already made the 2010 version of Wimbledon a tournament to remember.

About the only thing that could top their five-set marathon – Isner won the final set, 70-68 – would be another classic title match like last year’s 30-game final set between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick.

I don’t want to jinx Isner and cause another marathon match but I did notice that De Bakker also was involved in a pretty lengthy first-round match. He defeated Santiago Giraldo 16-14 in the final set of a match featuring 74 games.

Of course, that falls far short of the record 183 games it took Isner to edge Mahut. The previous record for games played was 112. The match lasted 4 1/2 hours longer than the previous record long match of six hours, 33 minutes.

The more I think about it, Isner and De Bakker could be playing for a long time if neither one is out of gas.

Here are some of the “vital statistics” provided by http://www.wimbledon.org

Match duration: 11 hours, five minutes
Fifth set duration: Eight hours, 11 minutes
Total number of games: 183
Fifth set number of games: 138
Total number of points: 980
Isner aces: 112
Mahut aces: 103
Combined aces: 215
Isner winners: 246
Mahut winners: 244

Here’s Wednesday’s MrSportsBlog report that chronicled the first 10 hours of the match: https://mrsportsblog.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/historic-wimbledon-match-may-never-end/

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John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will finish off their epic Wimbledon first-round singles match on Thursday.

Maybe.

The two men’s tennis players were supposed to complete their match on Wednesday after it was suspended on Tuesday night due to darkness.

Didn’t happen.

Oh, they played on Wednesday. And played … and played … and played … and played some more.

Nothing was decided even though they hit volleys and served aces and made dramatic shots for seven hours and six minutes.

The two players are tied 59-59 in the fifth set in one of the most unbelievable tennis matches ever played.

They have played 10 hours of tennis over two days, easily breaking the previous record of six minutes, 33 seconds for a match set at the 2004 French Open when Fabrice Santoro defeated Arnaud Clement.

Think about that, the fifth set has gone on longer than the previous record for an entire match.

The festivities began Tuesday like a typical tennis match. Isner won the first set 6-4 before Mahut notched 6-3 and 7-6(7) victories. Isner that won the fourth set 7-6(3) to even the match at 2-2.

They took the court Wednesday to play the decisive final set. Only it kept going … and going … and going.

Got to love those kind Wimbledon officials – Isner was scheduled to play doubles on Wednesday but the match was postponed as the singles’ match stretched on and on. And on and on and on.

Isner and Mahut played 118 games of tennis during a single set on Wednesday – the previous record for an entire match was 112 games – in an unbelievable display of endurance and mental strength.

It’s hard to believe either player having anything left for a second-round match … oh wait, they still have this first-round marathon to finish.

Perhaps it’s better to label this match an Ironman competition than a marathon.

You may remember the terrific Wimbledon final last year where Roger Federer outlasted Andy Roddick in a marathon fifth set. That seemingly never-ending final set concluded at 30 games – 16-14 in Federer’s favor.

Isner and Mahut played 88 more games than that on Wednesday alone.

Remarkable. Incredible. Amazing. Epic.                                    

Whatever word you pick, nothing fully describes what is transpiring between these two players.

The historic match will continue Thursday, we know that much.

But the real question is this: Will it end on Thursday?

Since the Super Bowl ended with Drew Brees celebrating and Peyton Manning rushing toward the exits, I’ve heard several people bemoan that it will be a long seven months waiting for the 2010 NFL season to commence.

At first, that sounds silly. There’s a lot of stuff that will happen in the sports world between now and September. You would think there would be something that would interest them, wouldn’t you?

To fully drum that in, just think of the Sunday sports schedule. It includes one of the biggest auto races of the year in the Daytona 500, the NBA All-Star Game in that ridiculously big Cowboys Stadium and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

That’s a pretty good Sunday of events – the Pro Bowl would have been in the mix too if the NFL hadn’t moved the date of the game up two weeks – to where you’d think there would be something worth watching.

But guess what, I realized Saturday night that I’m not all that interested in watching any of the three events, either. Of course, I’ll be working most of the afternoon and have a deadline to meet – if you want to count the easy-to-me task of writing as work – but I’m still not all that intrigued.

I recognize and truly respect that NASCAR’s Daytona 500 is a major sporting event but cars driving around in circles have never resonated with me. Of course, I’ve never spent a single day of my life in the state of Alabama so I’ve never had to worry about some NASCAR fanatic hijacking me and forcing me to spend a day watching the good ol’ boys and singing Steely Dan’s “Deacon Blues” or Lynard Skynard’s “Sweet Home Alabama.”

Again, I respect how popular NASCAR is – especially in the South – but even one of the two biggest auto races of the year (the Indianapolis 500 being the other) isn’t must-watch TV for me. No Danica Patrick crash possibility, no interest to me.

The NBA All-Star Game used to be something I never missed – at one time, it was the best of the pro sports All-Star games – but it hasn’t carried the same luster it used to over the past several years. Even the Twitterverse outrage over David Lee originally being passed over for the All-Star team – he’s since been named to the East squad as an injury replacement for undeserving Allen Iverson – hasn’t swayed me to become interested.

I watched part of Texas playing North Carolina in Cowboys Stadium recently so I don’t even have the curiosity factor of wondering what a basketball game in the mammoth stadium looks like. Here’s a hint – the video scoreboard that hangs high above the floor is longer than the 94-foot basketball floor.

As for Sunday’s Winter Olympics schedule, I’ll peruse the schedule and see what’s on tap. I’m sure I’ll watch a portion of NBC’s coverage but I’m not planning my day wondering how the United States fared against China in the biathlon or who performed well in moguls skiing.

Ever thought about how the only time we ever hear the word “moguls” is during the Winter Olympics?

So I suppose I really do understand a little bit why there are some people who won’t get excited over the March Madness of the NCAA basketball tournament or April’s start of the major-league baseball season or June’s NBA Finals or tennis at Wimbledon. Those folks think the sports world will be in hibernation until the next NFL regular season kicks off.

I disagree, of course, but my viewing habits on Sunday won’t separate me from those who think a September Sunday night football game between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans is must-see TV.

When I think NASCAR, NBA All-Star Game and Winter Olympics on February, 14, 2010, there is only one thing that rattles my mind and it isn’t which lucky lady to go grab Valentine’s dinner with. Here’s where my heart is: How did we get to the point that Kevin Garnett is the elder statesmen in terms of which current NBA All-Star participant has played in the most NBA All-Star Games?

Garnett is playing in his 13th All-Star contest on Sunday. If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, then you’re not into the NBA (fully understand that) or you are already dead (sorry I didn’t send flowers).

So, OK, I get it – those folks who think only the NFL matters? Cool. But what happens if there’s an NFL work stoppage when September of 2011 arrives?

Suddenly, those meaningless late-season baseball games between the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates will keep me in suspense. Even the San Diego Padres – you know they will be at least 20 games out when September arrives – will have to entertain me.

The more I think about it; perhaps I should catch some of Sunday’s Daytona 500. Seeing who grabs the checkered flag has got to be more entertaining than figuring out which NHL team Alex Ovechkin plays for.

Hey, is Richard Petty part of the Daytona 500 field?