Let's be honest. This was not the bestest Wimbledon ever. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a thwarted Fedfan. I'm saying this because despite the number of five set matches and shenanigans going on, one match managed to overshadow the whole tournament. One lonely little first round match out on the back courts is going to be the reason Wimbledon 2010 is remembered.
Wimbledon 2010: the year of Isner and Mahut.
Normally I would try and cover a number of stories that went on over the week, but the fact is that everything, even the victories of Nadal and Serena, pale beside the achievement here. They won Wimbledon. Isner and Mahut won an enormous victory for tennis. Has any match ever garnered such public attention? John Isner is now some massive media dude in the US - everyone wants a piece of Izzy - and I'd be surprised if the same thing isn't happening to some extent with Nico as well.
After and during this match, people were all like, 'blah, this is why we need fifth set tiebreaks!' Um, no. It is matches like these and prove exactly why we don't. How could a fifth set tiebreaker adequately have described the drama that was this match? It deserved to go to 70-68, because the match was just that close. That is the truth of the matter, plain and simple. It's right that this match effectively went for fifteen odd sets, because no one was giving ground.
The person that blinks first is the one that loses. That is the truth of tennis. This match showed exactly what it means to be a tennis player, and a good one - not blinking. For ages and ages and ages. It is a cruel truth, but that is the nature of the sport. And there is no way a fifth set tiebreaker would have done justice to the drama of Isner and Mahut.
And so, not to devalue the immense and awesome achievements of Serena and Rafa, that is who really won Wimbledon this week. Isner. Mahut. Tennis. Because these are the things that will be remembered about Wimbledon 2010 for always.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago