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June 25, 2010

Wimbledon 2010: Isner Prevails, the Queen Arrives, But No Serena!?

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The final clock on the match, 11 hours and 5 minutes.  Eleven hours! 

That's the number of hours it took at Wimbledon for John Isner and Nicolas Mahut to play the longest tennis match ever.

That's longer than some people are married! 

It also took three days, a whole lot of tennis balls and two very sore bodies.

Ultimately it was probably inevitable that Mahut couldn't keep holding serve, game after game, hour after hour.  So despite Isner looking like walking death a majority of the time, his pounding serve kept him steadily just a smidge ahead.

And then today, after earning yet another match point, Isner clocked a passing shot by Mahut for a winner.

The final score, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68 broke every match record tennis had to offer:

Match duration: 11 hours, five minutes
Fifth set duration: 8 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

So a match that was called two days in a row for darkness finally ended. There was a little ceremony on court at the end, starring former Brit fav, Tim Henman, gifts for the players and the umpire, photos at the scoreboard which was resurrected after dying yesterday at 47-47 in the fifth, and poor Mahut putting up with it all in spite of losing a heartbreaker.

During his post match interview, Isner was asked how he slept last night:

I honestly, when I left the match, I really thought it was a dream. I didn't think that type of match was possible. So I was really expecting to wake up, in all seriousness.

No, I went back. I didn't sleep great. I only slept for four hours. I talked to Nic. He said he only slept for about three. So we're both kind of running on fumes right now.

During his interview Mahut was asked if he was proud of his role in the match:

Yeah, ask me tomorrow I will probably say yes. Tonight, it's really difficult. This is just a match I will never forget. I hope the people who watched the match will think the same.

At this moment, it's really painful.

Congrats to Isner and Mahut for some history making tennis.

History--or rather Her-story--was also made at Wimbledon today when Queen Elizabeth showed up for the first time since bell bottoms went out of style.

I'm a sucker for royalty and I loved nothing better than seeing all the top players dressed up to meet Her Majesty and sit down for a little lunch.  She was primarily there to watch Andy Murray, the Scot that England embraces as one of their own only when he's winning at Wimbledon.

But the controversy concerned the rest of the Centre Court schedule.  Rafael Nadal was the other top man scheduled to play on Centre Court.  Nothing wrong with that.  But Serena Williams was put out on Court 2 in favor of Caroline Wozniacki.  Nothing against Wozniacki, but no Serena?  Come on!

I agree with Mary Carillo and Patrick McEnroe that Serena should have been scheduled to play on Centre Court in front of the queen.  As was only right, both Serena and Venus were included in the luncheon with Her Majesty that also included Roger Federer, a dapper looking Andy Roddick, and Novak Djokovic. 

But once again, the All England Club screwed up when it comes to one of the Williams sisters.

@HarlemWriter on Twitter sent me this link to an interesting article about the issue that suggested Serena's outburst at last year's US Open might have had something to do with it.

As it turned out, the queen never stuck around for the Wozniacki match, but that's not the point.  The All England Club dissing one of the greatest female players ever is.

Other than that, a lovely day on the lawns.


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