The smell of crisp green grass, the feel of tension rising, the sound of thousands gathering to watch a match. Yes, it is the
world cup Wimbledon. With the queen in attendance, the higher-ranked males did not dare to disappoint, and marked yesterday as the first day when all seeded players in the gentlemen's singles won their matches. The ladies failed to rise to the challenge however, as Daniela Hantuchova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Aravane Rezai and Jie Zheng failed to make it to the next round.
But enough name dropping. Let us instead recap the matches that did matter - like that epic record-breaking spectator-consuming robot zombie Court 18 match. Yes, that match.
It's only a matter of time...
But what a difference it makes. Years after this batch of tennis players has passed on, and Federer and Nadal have become heroes of aged great-great-great-grandmothers, and Germany has won it's 10th world cup, still the legend that is John Isner will live on. Well Nicholas Mahut too, but it is always the victor who gets the front page. So let's get back to the legendary giant robot zombie John Isner.
John Isner is a typical American tennis player (save for his gigantic height) and has a typical American way of playing tennis. A huge serve, lots of aces, and good at persevering no matter what others say. With Andy Roddick and the Williams sisters representing his country, it is not often that the quiet and unassuming giant gets the headlines.
The journalists won't have a choice now, as Isner has thread where no one else dared and conquered what no one else can even hope to approach. He has made history and will forever be remembered as the man who stood tall (and I do mean tall) by beating a random French qualifier 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68. For over eleven hours, he had held firm on serve to come out the victor, and for that Isner will be exalted as the savior of US tennis. In fact, he may become the savior of the whole Earth once they decide that his consistent pounding serve (traveling at 143 miles per hour) is a better weapon than a machine gun. Cutting down on arms production will lead to world peace as everyone tries to replicate the robotic accuracy of Isner's aces.
Let's put that in perspective
11 hours. Almost half a day. You could get a million things done in that time. You could have won the 5 and a half F1 races required to clinch a F1 WDC (523 minutes) and do a full run around the Monaco Street Circuit. You could have won Wimbledon with time to spare for hugging mystery Caucasian men. You could have won the world cup (630 minutes) with the finals going into extra time and just maybe the dreaded penalties.
But what did the match really mean to Isner? Quite simply - entry into the 2nd round of Wimbledon. And all the hero has to say about his day job as a tennis player (as opposed to the unorthodox work of a record-breaker) is this:
I've got to come back tomorrow and try to get (my match) done.
It wasn't the final, just a 1st round match. But that is the beauty of tennis isn't it?
In other news...
Brit's-only-hope Andy Murray and number-1-slayer Robin Soderling won their matches in straight sets, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Rafael Nadal joined in the 5-set action by dragging out their victories for as long as possible before finishing their opponents off. Denmark can rejoice Caroline Wozniacki's entry into the ladies' 3rd round while trying to forget their world cup misery, and Maria Sharapova yells her way through together with hug-loving Serena Williams.
What you can look forward to today is more tasty match ups like:
- Justine Henin vs. Nadia Petrova
- Gael Monfils vs. Lleyton Hewitt
- Roger Federer vs. Arnaud Clement
- Novak Djokovic vs. Albert Montanes
- Alisa Kleybanova vs. Venus Williams
- Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. Andy Roddick
- Kim Clijsters vs. Maria Kirilenko
- Alona Bondarenko vs. Jelena Jankovic
- Feliciano Lopez vs. Jurgen Melzer
- Serena Williams/Venus Williams vs. Timea Bacsinszky/Tathiana Garbin
- Thiemo De Bakker vs. John Isner (Court 5)
- John Isner/Sam Querrey vs. Michal Przysiezny/Dudi Sela (Court 19)
- Andre Sa/Vera Zvonareva vs. Jamie Murray/Laura Robson (to be assigned)
Players with support have been italicized so those who are new to tennis can come join in the action by cheering them on! I promise Amy and the others here won't bite (much) if you choose to support the underdogs too.