Isner Wins Marathon, Nadal’s Turn to Escape at Wimbledon
by Sean Randall | June 24th, 2010, 7:54 pm
  • 106 Comments

First, I have to give a nod to the incredible, unimaginable 70-68 fifth set win today by John Isner over Nicolas Mahut. 70-68 is… Well, there’s nothing that describes it.

In a multitude of records that will likely forever stand the test of time, Isner cracked 112 aces, Mahut 103 in their 11-hour, 5-minute epic which ended as Isner lined up and connected on a backhand passing shot to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68.

All you can do is bow (or curtsy as if meeting the Queen) and clap your hands. It’s a match as they said on the tube that you will remember forever.

“It’s great,” Isner said. “I guess something Nic and I will share forever really. I don’t think I’ve ever said five words to the guy prior to our match. Not that he’s a bad guy. It is what it is. Now when I do see him in the locker room at other tournaments, we’ll always be able to share that. You know, like I said, I’m kind of glad it happened. Had I won in straight sets, I might be playing right now in my second round match.”

Isner’s second round opponent is Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker who waited an extra day to challenge the American. The two will lace it up tomorrow at noon.

In other matches, Rafael Nadal had his “survive and advance” moment today against the able Robin Haase. Haase was well in the driver’s seat when he seemed to injure or re-injure his knee early in the fourth set while up on Nadal two sets to one.

“Before the match, I tell you I know he going to be a very difficult opponent, because he’s a big server, difficult player,” Nadal said. “On this surface, is very difficult to stop him. I’m very happy to be in third round because probably today was difficult.”

Haase did something early in the fourth set to his knee. No trainer was called that I know of, but he was definitely in pain and limping, and the 23-year-old never recovered. Otherwise I think Nadal may have been heading for the exits as Haase was absolutely taking it to Nadal.

In some ways he played like Robin Soderling. The Swede ripped apart Marcel Gronollers as expected and more and more, it’s looking like he will beat Nadal in the quarterfinals should it happen.

Soderling is the only top player who really hasn’t been behind in the first two matches.

Also, with the Queen in the Royal Box, Andy Murray put on a good show winning in straights over Jarrko Nieminen. David Ferrer and Sam Querrey were both four set winners.

And a trio of French were able to do what Mahut could not, win in five sets. JW Tsonga, Jeremy Chardy and Julien Benneteau all scored five set wins on Thursday.

Looking ahead to Friday’s third round, Roger Federer should finally have a breather against Arnaud Clement. Novak Djokovic also should have very little difficulty with Albert Montanes.

In one of the better matches, lefties Jurgen Melzer and Feliciano Lopez battle. I think on grass Lopez gets the edge but Melzer’s been the hot player so I’ll pick the Austrian in that one.

My pick to still win the title, Lleyton Hewitt, is on against my man Gael Monfils. I think this is a tough match that could go five sets, but I think Lleyton’s grass court experience wins out. Monfils can usually keep it close for a set, maybe two, these days before he sputters.

And in the match of the day, Andy Roddick locks up with Phil Kohlschreiber. The German stunned Roddick a while back in Australia, but I don’t think he’s playing as well now as he did back then. And I think Roddick will be energized by Isner’s win so I’ll take Roddick in four.

I should also mention that Big John Isner is back to play De Bakker. Isner has to be mentally tapped but as long as the his arm is okay he can beat anybody, and I think he somehow beats De Bakker. But that’s a pure guess. I do know the match won’t be anywhere near 11 hours. Then again this Wimbledon has been unlike any other.


Also Check Out:
Rafael Nadal’s Stolen Watch… It’s Been Found!
After Winning A 5-Setter, John Isner Says He’s And He’ll Be Fine Against Tommy Haas
Roger Federer Wins Epic Olympic Marathon, Will Play For Gold On Sunday; Withdraws From Toronto
Rafael Nadal Wins First Career French Open Five Setter [Video]
John Isner Outlasts Nicolas Mahut in Record-Breaking Marathon Tennis Match

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106 Comments for Isner Wins Marathon, Nadal’s Turn to Escape at Wimbledon

Kimmi Says:

“The Swede ripped apart Marcel Gronollers as expected and more and more, it’s looking like he will beat Nadal in the quarterfinals should it happen.”

sean, please don’t keep on jinxing soda pop. let them get there then we will see what happens.


Kimmi Says:

Is federer injured? he seem to have a bandage on his thigh in this photo..i think this is from his match with Bozo..

twitpic.com/1zc87h


Kimmi Says:

sorry..here is the link

http://twitpic.com/1zc87h


NELTA Says:

Trivia question. Who is the only active player to have faced Federer at least twice in majors and remain undefeated without dropping a set?
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*
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That would be Arnaud Clement who beat Federer twice at the AO without dropping a set. Clement has a respectable 3-7 record against the Swiss. Granted those victories were 10 years ago and Fed has won their last 6 meetings, but there is something about Clement’s game that bothers Fed. He said so after beating Clement in Estoril this year.

Clement is 9 years past his peak of 10 in the world in 2001 and has a 40% career winning percentage on clay yet somehow was able to take Federer to a 1st set tiebreak in Estoril.

Tomorrow’s match is on grass which is Federer’s best surface, but Clement plays his best tennis under faster conditions as well. There is nothing scary about Clement’s game which leads you to believe this should be an easy straight set victory, but their history indicates it could be closer. At Fed’s peak in 2006 Clement was able to take a set in Miami before getting bageled in the 3rd set.

I’ve never seen them play each other so I hope either ESPN2 or TC will show at least portions of the match.


Seth Says:

Why Sean picked Hewitt to win it all is beyond me.


NELTA Says:

Good eye Kimmi. He may have tweaked a muscle or tendon above the knee in his match vs Falla or possibly the next day when he was practicing.


Kimmi Says:

NELTA – i hope it does not hinder his movement.

i think he is in need of a straight set win right now.


jane Says:

I wondered if Nadal would make it through; he’d just lost the third set when I went out this morning, and all I could think was that it must be catching, this 5-set battle thing. I still don’t know who’ll win here, but the 2 Andys and Soda seem to be playing well. It’s tough to count out Fed or Rafa, though, and Berdych is clicking along under the radar, as per usual at slams.


NELTA Says:

Kimmi,

Fed did a lot of running in that match against Falla. Clement is not a big hitter so I expect a lot of running by both players and a lot of points where each is trying to outwit the other

Nadal’s match today was probably the fastest 5 sets he has ever played.


Kimmi Says:

Nobody..i mean nobody expected nadal to be pushed by haase..this year wimby is full of excitements.

now, for those who still think some top players have easy draw, sure they can take it back now. really, its been so unpredictable, one cannot just look at names in the draw and determine how easy one draw is. crazy stuff.

Bring it on..day 5


contador Says:

hi tennis people!

another day i missed the action and appreciate reading tennis-x.

i agree with NELTA, of course. a couple of fancy shotmakers. clement is one wily frenchman. clement could be a problem to the federer, the way fed has been playing.

one match at a time for a fed fan; expect anything.

i pick federer though. Kimmi did fed really pull something? if that’s the case…very bad news. shamoooooon! what do you say skeezerweezer?

looking at the draw (top half), i suspect berdych makes it through to the quarters and ultimately faces roddick in the semi.

roddick v murray final would be my hope but…maybe muzza can summon the champion in him? i would celebrate his win like a brit, or a scot. : )

roddick v nadal.

nadal wins either way. oh no. for anyone facing him in the final.

i don’t think soderling or anyone else in the bottom half can beat nadal with nadal’s present mindset, even if he didn’t play his best today, i just think he’ll have his 2nd wimbldedon. still picking him.

the end.

but gotta love isner and mahut!

also kudos to dolgo for taking tsonga the distance! dolgo train is on the move….all aboard for the man with the coolest hair on the tour! : )


Kimmi Says:

very impressed by dolgo perfomance vs tsonga. to come back after been down and out is a testament of someone with great heart. Still have not had a chance to see the guy play, but following the live score i was really rooting for him to come through after such a big fight back. this is another one of those matches where there should not be a loser.

i think the guy has arrived. i can see some great things happening to him. he needs to beef up a little, big serve, big forehand. we have seen the talent. definetly one to watch.


Kimmi Says:

conty, just saw your post after posting mine. re: federer pulling “something”..he has not complained about it yet. :(

i pick fed over clemet too, but my big hope is in straight sets


contador Says:

ditto to the straights sets. one can only hope!


contador Says:

aside from the isner-mahut win, i loved what little i caught of dolgo this morning.

( I wrote an entire paragragh on dolgo. but i won’t repeat it just in case that other post finds it’s way through the ether )

basically dolgo has the speed of davy but some clever shotmaking with great 1st serve and 2nd kicker of a serve. the picture of composure, and this only his 2nd grand slam!

really fun to watch. : )


contador Says:

and, i’d like imagine isner makes it past TdB after that marathon. now that, would be storybook for him to win wimbles! hahahaahaaa

: o

just saying.


skeezerweezer Says:

“Kimmi Says:

Is federer injured? he seem to have a bandage on his thigh in this photo”

Skeeze for WTF! Network…….LIVE from not Wimbledon.

Tennis X famous blogger “Kimmi” found a recent photo of Fed in a possible bandaged leg. WTF! Network investigated……..

We have found no confirmation from the alleged photo but make the deduction. Why would he where that on his right leg, for looks? Could be trouble…..

However, rumors abound…and WTF! Network has found from unreliable sources that Fed got a “bad” Yoga session followed by a “questionable” Massage during the Tournament. Sources say Fed followed the Yoga instructor into the “twisted pretzel leg” position which encumbered Fed’s movement after. As a result, Fed went to the massage therapist for relief only to find the massage was the “moki moki” technique, also named “go ahead and hurt my upper thigh”. WTF?

More to follow…..

Skeeze reporting for WTF! Network…the most unreliable source in Professional Tennis……


contador Says:

“bad yoga and a “questionable massage?” hahahahaa skeeze, great reporting! i knew you’d show up with a WTF Network explanation!

like AO, fed isn’t playing his best tennis these early rounds. and like AO, i can’t imagine him getting to the final let alone past clement if he’s injured or if he’s okay even the likes of f-lo, melzer and definitely beating berdych seems unlikely.

plus i don’t think i could take another federer v murray final or federer v roddick semi.

fed v rafa, the dreaded fedal or naderer. * uuhhhgg * please, no.

about sean picking hewitt? nole will take him out in a 5 setter. the old fighter ozzie’s gonna fade ; ) while i think roddick will cruise to the semi.

pure speculation here. i like to pick and don’t mind being wrong, wrong,and more wrong!


contador Says:

“twisted pretzel position” hahhahaa what a picture! and the “moki moki” massage?

is that like one of those massages where some big guy pins him in a full nelson wrestling move?

in a moscow spa?


contador Says:

too late, Kimmi.

the jinx is “on” for soda pop.


contador Says:

well, seems nobody around. : (

missing most of the live action this wimbledon; can only catch a bits here and there so far.

thanks for the laugh, Skeezerweezer. love your WTF! Network reporting.


margot Says:

conty: I’m all out of sinc cos of time difference but as I wrote somewhere else(??)I’m on the Dolgo train too! Just love him and his wonderful exhuberant play, he’s a little dynamo. Also Haase, WOW he’s only 23, another player with massive game.
de Baaker out today against Isner, expect JI is feeling a tad sore.
Brilliant Wimbledon so far!
jane: happy motoring!


Huh Says:

Well, there must be clearly something wrong with Fed otherwise he’s not the guy to wrap his knee in bandages. Hope he gets ok.

Further WTF! reporting much awaited! C’mon Mr.Skeeze, we want more! ;)


Huh Says:

If Fed is really injured or has tweaked his leg/something, I hope he doesn’t play any more matches until it gets perfectly well. I can’t tolerate Fed having injury or getting it aggravated just for the sake of his fans’ madness who want him to win WIM and break all records even if it means Fed breaking his legs or stuff!
ALLEZ FEDERER!


Joshua Says:

And then Mahut went out and played a full set in doubles with Clement, losing the set in a tiebreak! And Isner hasn’t pulled out of doubles yet either, and therefore has to play back to back best of fives on Friday! And this is a time when seemingly anyone who advances to the third round in singles immediately pulls out of the doubles bracket.


Cbeast Says:

We played the greatest match ever in the greatest place to play tennis,” said Isner’s vanquished opponent,

I’m sorry, that may be the longest game ever,
But that’s nothing remotely close to the greatest game ever.

Hek Feds win over Murray at AO had ten times more enjoyable tennis in it.


Cbeast Says:

”Isner has to be mentally tapped but as long as the his arm is okay he can beat anybody,”

Thats just simply not true.


midsun Says:

Really Sean? Nadal didn’t play badly at all today. He was challenged by a guy with a great serve, who had it working today, and Rafa, as usual, stayed patient and found a way back into the match (not that he was ever really out of it). I also think you exaggerated Haase’s supposed injury (for which he never asked for a medical time-out, by the way)in order to make the spurious claim that otherwise he would have surely beaten Nadal. Anyone who thought that Fed and Rafa would breeze through the first week blithely knocking off three-set wins at will underestimates the early round competition. Everyone seems so eager play the doom-and-gloom game with Roger and Rafa.


Eskay Says:

One way to look at these encounters, say Rafa vs. Haase, is percentage play vs. carefree play. Although most of these professionals play the percentage game, but once a while they come across someone who plays without inhibition. The other guy plays without looking into the opponent, without looking into the score, i.e. to say without bothering about the result. His natural swings find the mark on that day with greater regularity. The other man plays with controlled aggression, playing with mind over instincts, with more caution than gay abundance. That succeeds most of the time, but on an odd day upsets do occur. Bozo played a carefree game against Roger and Haase played the carefree game against Rafa. Rafa might have played a carefree game soemtimes when he was relatively unknown, but most of us would not have been witness to that. Percentage play has numerous advantages, but natural carefree game is also a beauty to behold. But into the second week, one time upsetters will get eliminated and freak results will occur with lesser probability.


grendel Says:

Contador – Federer said not so long ago, Spring perhaps, that Clement had always given him trouble. He gives a lot of people trouble actually. Could be an exciting match today.

Yes, like you, I’m pleased about Dolgo, a real character and unusual tennis player. Lots of interest there.

About Haase – don’t forget he’s been injured for quite a long time, that explains his low ranking. He’s actually pretty talented, and if he can keep free of injury could easily be top 20.


Eskay Says:

An interesting match would be Hewitt – Monfils match. Both appear to be evenly matched. Hewitt is a dogged fighter but Monfils has more flair. Monfils tends to get tired or injury flares up in the fourth or fifth set. It might perhaps be Monfils day today.


Polo Says:

It looks like Isner is also goint to get the record for the shortest match in a major. Sad. They should have decided that whoever won the Isner-Mahut match will just defalut the next match. Although anticlimactic, a loss after that long match is expected.


NELTA Says:

Right now Isner has what you call in baseball a dead arm. His ground strokes aren’t that bad today, but as well all know his game revolves around the serve.


Polo Says:

I am not a big fan of the ESPN Wimbledon coverage. The commentators are given so much air time just talking to each other and not enough coverage of actual games. And when they show the games, it is a replay of the Isner-Mahut match as if watching it three days in a row is not enough.


funches Says:

The interesting match will be Hewitt-Djokovic in the the fourth round.

If Djokovic plays to his capability, Hewitt cannot beat him. They played at Wimbledon a few years ago and Djokovic won a tight four-setter. Hewitt is more comfortable on grass, but there’s nothing he does as well as Djokovic. Its a bad matchup for him.


Mg Mg Says:

I totally agree with Polo. ESPN Wimbledon coverage sucks this year. The replay of 11 hours match and John Isner’s interview twice is too much.


Polo Says:

Mg Mg, I turned off my TV and decided to go to ATDHE.net where I can choose the match I want. The commentators stop talking once a play starts. The computer screen may be smaller but what I watch is pure tennis.


Duro Says:

Novak matters. Finally.


asif Says:

After Rafa dropped the third set yesterday, there was a noticeable change in his demeanor. It was an attitude of “eff this guy, I am gonna rip this match out of his hands.” His body language became more positive and aggressive. His tempo quickened and there was likely an increase in the amount of action he put into his balls. Haase was thoroughly intimidated and overwhelmed. It had nothing to do with a phantom injury that he might have aggravated. This was just Rafa being Rafa.


Aravind Says:

Asif, Hasse’s first serve percentage dropped to 33% in set four and similar percentage in final set. That was a very big factor. It may have been because of injury.


Mg Mg Says:

Thanks for the link Polo. I am also a big fan of ATDHE.NET :-)


asif Says:

Maybe. Or maybe Haase had placed bets against himself. Or maybe he didn’t want to keep missing the World Cup to play tennis.

Did you watch the match? It wouldn’t have mattered what Haase did after the third set because the best tennis player in the world played like the best tennis player in the world. It’s no wonder that Nadal is now 11-2 in 5 set matches. The two losses? Federer and Hewitt, no slouches in the mental department.

The simplest explanation is usually the correct one.


Huh Says:

Congrats to Nole on a straight set win!

CONGRATS TO DURO, YA SEEM VERY HAPPY! I’M ALSO HAPPY FOR YOU. :P

Congrats to Mrs.Jane, stu and other Nola fans too.


skeezerweezer Says:

Congrats to Nole fans.

Fed looking sharp early on. Good break and hold to start. Can he play like this through the whole match? Focus Fed! :)


andrea Says:

with soderling and then possibly murray, nadal’s path to a final seems to be trickier.

but i agree that berdych is a sleeper on the other side. with his big strokes and serve, he’s a beast on grass. istomin as well…he pushed nadal around at queen’s.


andrea Says:

and finally…an easy set for roger!


NELTA Says:

Roger needed that bad. Clement started out the match with a slew of unforced errors that helped Roger get an early lead and relax a little.


Duro Says:

Thanks, Huh. You’ve been the most active poster lately. Supporting many, fighting some… Globally involved Huh. Cheers. See you in the semis.


jane Says:

Nice to hear that Nole can win two matches in a row in straights because he’s got a really difficult opponent next in Hewitt! Fed is cruising today. Will it be 5, 4, 3 (sets) for him? Looks like a safe bet that he’s playing into form. Andy R should come through too. He’s better at tiebreaks and 5 setters, and Kohls will likely cool off; he often does anyhow.


NELTA Says:

Berdych an Istomin are in a war


jane Says:

I saw that NELTA, third tiebreak, third set.


Huh Says:

If Hewitt’s able to play his best here against Nole, and that’s a BIG ‘IF’, then I’m gonna pick him over Nole coz:

ON GRASS- HEWITT>NOLE


margot Says:

Hi jane, how’s holiday?
Tennis wise normal service seems resumed today.
Yes Djoko looking very good but Andy R, on that side, also looking very sharp and determined.
Polo: am really enjoying your comments on the commentators. We share some pain I think. Sometimes, we have johnny mac commentating. Now I really like him but he insists on pronouncing the “o” in Djko and del potro as in “joke” rather than in “clock”! It drives me nuts, does he not listen to what the umpire is saying? Oh um..of course not…
Talking of bandwagons, I really like Istomin too, gr8 serve and forehand. However, isn’t it a bit creepy he has to travel with his mom? I mean how does he get to pull?? ..On which noble and elevated thought…I think I’ll sign out…


jane Says:

Hi margot! Things are clipping along. We’re driving back towards LA today from San Diego. Going to the NHL draft today and tomorrow, and then the usual, Disney, Beverly Hills, etc. Will probably stop in Seattle on the way home but should not be back in Canada until the 3rd of July or so, which means catching bits of Wimbledon here and there, on the fly. Oh well. : /

Yes, Nole will have a tough enough time getting past a grass experienced Hewitt let alone Roddick. But in any case, it’s nice to know he’s playing a little better which could bode well for hard courts later on. Luck to Andy M for tomorrow. Cheers!

Thanks to huh for the nice words on Nole’s win today. I’m going to make a guess and say congrats on Fed’s win, as I have to run now. : )


Huh Says:

Hi Mrs.Margot! :)

Studies a little less at the moment coz have to enjoy tennis and football. ;)

And our Dimitrov has still probably not qualified for WIM perhaps as I thought I saw in live score a couple of days back that he was playing some tournament which’s not WIM. I got disappointed. Hope he soon gets on track and starts challenging on the pro tour.


Huh Says:

It’s so unfortunate that Rod is facing a dangerous guy like Kohls at the moment, one after another tough opponents he has faced so far. Hopefully he’d beat Kohl in straight sets.


grendel Says:

Well, got that totally wrong as usual. Never seen Clement – usually sharp as a button – so wayward, especially his fh, all over the place. So can’t really conclude anything about Fed from this match as he was put under no pressure whatever.

Get the feeling both Djokovic and Murray are back. So Wimbledon is really competitive this year. There may be one big favourite, but there are at least 5, possibly 6, potential winners.

Pity, in a way, that Isner won the marathon, since it was obvious he was finished. Mahut, on the other hand, was looking alert to the end and he’s now involved in a doubles match. So maybe he might have made a game of it with de Baaker (?)


guy Says:

haase clearly in the driver’s seat?
clearly you didn’t watch the match.


Eric Says:

Haase was absolutely in the driver’s seat in the third set (I only started watching it then). How often does someone ace Nadal every point in a game after breaking him with shocking ease?


Eric Says:

Nadal has some sort of guardian angel watching out for him, it’s the only explanation for him winning that match.


Huh Says:

Yes, C’mon Rod, just take the fourth set, quick!
I knew Kohls would fight real hard unless something’s wrong with him, a tough guy he’s and I like his game too a little bit. But not more than Rod!!


daredevil Says:

I really wish best of luck to Rafael Nadal for his upcoming expected match in the quarter final with Soderling and big congrats to John Isner for his enormous victry.I do not like criticsm on Nadal so please stop that!


Huh Says:

I saw the Rafa-Haase match and liked it, was not bad tennis from either guy, it deserved to be a 5 setter and in the end Rafa deserved to win. I would happily refrain from commenting anything else on that match, though if need be, I’d in the future.


Huh Says:

C’mon Rod, just one more hold and you’re into the 4th round, come on!


NELTA Says:

Kohls played some pretty good tennis, but Roddick’s serve is just nasty. 28 aces, 71% 1st serve, 110 MPH average 2nd serve speed and 0 double faults.


Eric Says:

I feel bad for Hanescu. He was clearly the better player and only a couple games from victory, but it looked like he just gave up halfway through the fourth set because of his injury. Very dispirited play. Oh well!


margot Says:

eric: we’ve just been shown bbc film of what looked like Hanescu spitting at a spectator, just b4 retiring. How bizarre is that?


Mindy Says:

I just had to respond to the recap of Rafa’s match with Hasse. I don’t know what some people were watching, but this is simply not an accurate account of what happened.

First, Hasse called for the trainer in the third set for his ankle. He seemed fine. Then Hasse tweaked something at 2-0 in the fourth set. The commentators said it was his hip. He kept rotating his body to stretch it out. Rafa was already up a break, playing some brilliant tennis. Hasse seemed to struggle a bit for a game, but then he was moving much better. He did not call for the trainer and did not ask for an MTO. Rafa played some physical, brutal tennis in that set. His body language and determination were obvious for all to see.

Haase’s serve percentage dropped quite a bit in the fourth and fifth sets. Maybe this injury bothered him enough to hamper his serve. However, that in no way diminishes Rafa’s stellar effort.

Luck had absolutely nothing to do with Rafa winning this match. Rafa made up his mind to take it to Haase and wear him down. He did just that. Anyone watching the match would have seen Haase leaning over and holding his knees to get his breath back. Rafa was blasting winners from all over the place.

There is nothing in this blog recap to indicate how Rafa took control of this match and started reading Haase’s serve much better from the second set on, how Rafa served so well in the last two sets, how Rafa made some amazing winners, like that backhand down the line shot when he was off balance and not in position. There were some trademark forehand down the line winners and many excellent volleys at net.

It’s a shame that Rafa wasn’t given credit for playing so well in the last two sets. However, this has been all too common on this site. Rafa was not going to lose that match. If Haase had an ankle or hip problem, too bad for him. That’s the problem with these big serving guys. Once they can’t stand there like a statue and bang out aces, then their game disintegrates.

Maybe someone on this site should send Rafa an e-mail telling him that if he and Sod meet in the quarterfinals, he should pack his bags and go home to Mallorca, because the result will be a foregone conclusion. If Rafa thought like that, he would have never been able to accomplish what he has in this sport.


grendel Says:

interesting stat from NELTA about Roddick’s average second serve 110 mph. Isner’s was 118 mph at 59 all – dunno what it was at the end. Some poster, commenting on the “poor returning” said most top players can take advantage of the 2nd serve. Oh, yeah? At an average of 118, and – in clutch moments – 2nd serves in the late 120′s? I thought Mahut did pretty well on the return – any faintly short serve, he was on to it like a flash. Trouble is, Isner just didn’t 2 or 3 bad ‘uns on the run. It was a phenomenal serving performance, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Isner wasn’t a decent bet for the title by next year.

Meanwhile, Roddick’s timing it all nicely. He’s had two stiff opponents, dealt with them with great poise,and that’s worked out perfectly for him, both physically (tuning his game) and mentally (boosting his confidence). I still think he’s the danger man for Nadal. Not that what I think, etc – but we all like to have our little thoughts.

What is it with Monfils? Anyone got the least idea? You watch him in a typical rally with Hewitt, calmly putting the ball across the net with the minimum of effort whilst Hewitt, as ever exuding fierce resolve appears to put in quite a bit of effort without actually hitting the ball any harder than his opponent. This goes on for a while, Hewitt looking fiercer and fiercer, Monfils looking more and more sleepy – and you assume: well, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to any of this, but Monfils is a man of infinite resource and he must know what he’s up to. He must have some secret plan which is (for the time being) inhibiting him from smacking the ball for a winner, as you know he could, and as you try to puzzle out what this devious plan could be, Hewitt, having grimly worked himself into position, suddenly lashes the ball into the corner prompting Monfils to turn on his olympic sprinting bit but, even so, being able to do no more than offer up a dolly to the exultant Hewitt. So much for the plan. What is Monfils up to? Why doesn’t he make use of his prodigious gifts?

Having been at match point in set 3, Hanescu folded and love 3 down in the fifth suddenly walked over towards the crowd and launched a massive spit at a spectator. After that, he appeared to throw in the towel. Always thought he was a strange looking chap. From Rumania, you know. Transylvania, I expect.

At his interview, Federer was asked what the Queen had said to him. Federer:”She told me to play more backhands down the line”.


Eric Says:

Yeah apparently Hanescu was acting very weird at the end of the match. I only had one eye on it and the sound off so I’m not sure what happened, but that definitely sounds… odd!


madmax Says:

Federer fans, this is an amazing insight into Roger’s lunch with the queen, his view on the Isner match and his game generally at wimbledon.

It’s about 7 minutes long, but worth it!

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5322380


Eric Says:

Mindy, no one is saying Rafa didn’t deserve to win or didn’t play well. He played very well, especially in the fourth – brutal, 6-0 – set. But it is a simple fact that through the end of the third set Haase was playing amazing tennis, was up two sets to one, and looked like he was going to power through. His level dropped, Rafa’s rose (quite a lot), and it was all over. But it was a very close match.


Huh Says:

Mindy:

Giving credit to Fed/Rafa where it’s due, is often not the norm here. When Fed gives a good effort, Rafa fans are out to dismiss him, e.g. a Rafa fan was out big time citing ‘how Falla coulda won had he not tired out or had he been a little fitter and other blah blah stuff’, similar things are also said with respect to Rafa like this happened to his opponent, so he won, otherwise he would not; if only posters were doing that, it’d not be as unfair, but surprisingly at times even the article writers of tennis-x come up with such avoidable stuff!! I am still trying to adjust with all the unfair criticism/discrediting of Fed, being his fan. It’s unfortunate, but more or less happens everywhere. Sigh.


Huh Says:

Mindy:

Seems like you quite liked the way Rafa fought back and won. :)
So congrats!


robert Says:

Kudos to Isner & Mahut for concentration, stamina and grit, but great tennis that was not.

One-dimensional serving machine Isner is a giraffe almost without return game, just a tad better than Karlovic. Mahut is a classis serve-volleyer, but his return game is barely passable. Thus the ridiculous sideshow freak result.

Also, their game is completely mindless, no tactical thinking, learning and adapting during the match. Just standing there and blasting serves, serve winners and 1-2 combos. Move away, freaks.


Huh Says:

Everything else going on here is manageable, but surprising and at the same time interesting is the only thing that many seem sure of Sod beating Rafa, should they meet in the qf. We’ll see. If Rafa meets Sod in the QF, I pick Rafa.


Huh Says:

To me, the Isner-Mahut battle was more about great serving than poor returning. If there ever was a match about serving lights out in the history of tennis, then it has to be this match.. hands down!!
The Isner v. Mahut to me is the “greatest ever serving performance” that tennis might see. And the quality of tennis was also decent, not that poor as one might think.


Huh Says:

My take on Fed’s match today:

I simply don’t think Clement was playing well today, it was pretty average tennis from him; that really made Fed’s task easy IMO.


Huh Says:

Today there was only one thing about Fed which may be discouraging for his rivals and that’s Fed hit some ‘super solid’ BH winners.


Huh Says:

If Fed gets his BH right, then he’s not gonna be beaten here, otherwise he’s not gonna win.


skeezerweezer Says:

My hopeful matchups next week ( Hewitt vs Nole is a given )

Rafa vs Sod, Querry vs Murray, Roddick vs the Nole/Hewitt winner, Tsonga vs ?,Fed vs Birdy,( gotta get through the hard charging Melzner first, and a problem lefty for Fed to boot )

Should be a heckava week. I love Wimbledon!

Let’s go guys :)


Huh Says:

Just a couple of days back, the media were howling as if it’s the end of Fed, today they’re suddenly back worshipping him! Hilarious, but also pathetic is how the mood swings in the media.


Huh Says:

If Fed reaches the final here and faces Nadal, does anybody think playing a couple of lefties would help him beat Rafa?


dc Says:

If Fed continues playing the way he did today, Murray is once again going to be in trouble in the finals.


Mindy Says:

Let’s be honest here. The Fed fans want Rafa to go out as early as possible, so that he won’t pick up a lot of points. You also want Fed to defend his points by winning, or at least get the best result possible. I understand that. I get it. It makes perfect sense to me. However, when I have to come here and read that Hasse would have won his match with Rafa if not for this supposedly crippling injury, one for which he did not even call the trainer out once, then I get really annoyed.

I don’t recall saying that Hasse did not play well. He played a great game and all credit to him for doing so. I made a point to watch the replay on espn360, so I could actually see the entire match, including the first set that espn2 did not bother to air. I saw the few times that Hasse seemed to pull up in pain. It’s unfortunate if he had some kind of issue or even multiple issues, but as I said about Fed’s match with Falle, if you want to take out these guys then you have to be able to hang in there right to the end.

I am not fond of rewriting reality. There is no basis on which to infer that Hasse would have won the match, if not for this injury. There is zero mention of Rafa’s incredible shots in the fourth and fifth sets. When it was 4-1 in the fifth, the commentators said that Rafa had not lost a point on his serve? Are we to then say that this was because Hasse couldn’t move? I watched Hasse’s movements closely and he was able to bend over and hit volleys, make some great shots and even serve aces in that fifth set. I didn’t see that he was that severely hampered.

I cannot control what other Rafa fans say when they post here. I can only make sure that I do not engage in trash talk about Fed or any player, for that matter.

I am fully aware that Sod is the hope for all Fed fans to take out Rafa. I have been saying that I don’t take anything for granted in the early rounds, and Rafa’s match with Hasse bears that out. He still has two more rounds to get to a possible matchup with Sod. If they meet and Sod can get the best of Rafa, so be it.

Rafa will go to work on his serve, of that I am sure. He needs to hold serve on grass, because a few poorly played points and the set is gone. It was Rafa’s face and body language that told me he was not going to lose that match. As I have said before, there are intangibles that come into play. Rafa will not be easy to take down. He won’t roll over for anyone.

I have already exercised restraint by not discussing Rafa’s draw. I am going to stand by that and just let people say what they will. I know who is a tough matchup for Rafa. Nobody will have an easy road to the finals this year. I take it one match at a time. I have confidence that Rafa will not pack his bags and go home if he has to meet Sod in the quarterfinals! :)

Here’s to more great tennis!


skeezerweezer Says:

@ Huh

Hi Huh! Don’t say hi to you very often :(. My bad.

“…does anybody think playing a couple of lefties would help him beat Rafa?”

Only if he beats them on the way to a possible matchup with Rafa :)

Today’s win was good for Fed, Clement at times couldn’t buy a FH, but Fed played well and got some much needed confidence IMO. I think he also needs to play a lefty, and win. This is a great workout out for him ( against Melzner ). If he wins, its a good warmup for playing against Rafa if they meet, as Melzner has been playing the best of his career as of late. If he loses, it just proves he was not ready to take on the greatness of Rafa 2010. The last time I saw him playing a lefty on grass he had problems with it, so we’ll see….C’mon Fed!

Of course after Melzner he has a potential mactchup with Birdy…..


Fot Says:

Hey folks, I have been out almost all day. I did get a chance to see the early matches, but I missed Roger’s match ‘live’. I just finished watching the tape.

Some folks said Clement didn’t play well. Guess what – I don’t care! After the first 2 rounds, I wanted an easy win for Roger no matter what the cost! And he delivered. So I’m happy with that victory. Roger needed an easy win for a change.

Sorry about Isner, but it’s basically what I expected. Your body can only take so much. That’s one reason (in baseball) they don’t send their closer out for 3-4 days in a row after having pitched – say – 3/4 innings in each game. They get ‘dead arm’. Isner had that today…but a dead back, feet, hands, legs, etc. lol! In one interview he said some of his toes didn’t have any skin on them – or something like that! Can you imaging!

Also got to give props to Mahut because he’s still playing! He lost that long match but, so far, he’s still in the double’s tournament. It’s good to see.

Congrats to all the winners today (and I’m so glad my guy was in that bunch!).

On Victor – isn’t he the one they said show no emotion at all on the court? That Victor was the one to spit towards a fan? I wonder what the heck happened!


skeezerweezer Says:

@Mindy

I can only speak for myself as a Fed fan. Why would I want Rafa out? No way! When them two are on the same court, it’s the best tennis ever. The contrasting styles and hype is the best IMO :)

Points? Me? Don’t care that much anymore for Fed but all kudos to Rafa. I do care that Fed gets some more GS’s under his crown, but even that would be greedy. He is accomplished so much already I just like to watch the man’s game, variety and style. And when he does win, the whole package as a fan makes it magical.

Would it be cool if he got the #1 back? Sure? At wishing Rafa does bad or gets hurt? No way. Look, Rafa deserves to be #1, that’s the rules, the facts and he has EARNED it. Fed deserves IMO to be worse the #2 after his “spring” play. But he is #2, and that is also how the system works.

Re: Haase match. don’t count me in on the Fed fan list or Rafa no likey list about that match. Rafa won, played a great match. Fought back hard with determination and no I am not trying to appease Rafa fans. It’s they way it was. Haase was a tough cookie and did not IMO have the mental stamina to duel the greatness of Rafa. You want to fight Rafa? Fight till the bitter end, cause Rafa will.

My hopeful matchups….

My hopeful matchups are just that. I want to see these guys play each other not because I want someone to win or lose( except for Fed :) ) but it looks like it going to make a great match to watch. Nothing else. First among all my tennis favs, I am a tennis fan first :)

In fact, this has been a tougher road for some of the top players this year and has made for some exciting tennis in the early rounds. Love it!


Fot Says:

skeezerweezer, great post and I agree with you 100%


NELTA Says:

When the draw came out I mentioned that Melzer was in Fed’s section and that they have never played each other despite both being on the tour for over 10 years. Well that is about to change. Fed has already played 3 matches vs lefties this grass court season so he has had plenty of practice. However, Melzer’s serve and game are better than Falla and Neimenen.


skeezerweezer Says:

@Fot,

:)

Would anyone would have liked to have been there when Isner took off his socks after his match? Whew! LOL…

Sorry of course kudos to both players but you know the good fun jokes will be coming…:)

On a serious note, I watched some news this morning on Isner and they said he will be well taken care of from here on out with Sponsors, etc….good for him!


skeezerweezer Says:

Sorry Gang,

Indulging this one non tennis post…..

Shaaaamooon!
Hee! Hee!
Ya know it!

RIP MJ GOAT 06/25/09


grendel Says:

skeezerweezer

that was a great post, agree with Fot. And transparently honest. I’ve seen the odd poster question your sincerity, and they are poor readers of character. Your view is genuinely benign, and I would guess you are someone comfortable in your skin. I would LIKE to view things as you do, but I can’t deny that I am closer to the way Mindy describes, although there are qualifications to her stern appraisal which I won’t bore people with.

The term “Federer fan” or “Nadal fan” can be misleading, since – from my observation – there are types within each fanbase who have far more in common with each other than with their fellow fans. Of course, that’s kind of obvious.

Personally, I hope the next time I become “attached” to a player, he is a maverick type who plays glorious tennis but isn’t necessarily all that successful. Just from time to time. You lose something, but you gain a great deal I imagine – peace of mind and the kind of detachment that means you can watch anyone at all just for the joy of experiencing their gift. Nadal is on the whole someone I cannot watch with any pleasure, and I regret that, since I am obviously missing out on something pretty spectacular. And nor, I am sure, am I alone in this.


dari Says:

I am a fed fan who does not want rafa to win. The number one reason is because I want Mr. Federer to win #7, #8, etc. Next I prefer the andys.
Rafa’s game is amazing and I never question his fighting capabilities. I watch and enjoy his matches and i look fo rward to his press conferences However, I still see him as the man who made roger federer and I cry that July day in 2008. You can call me dramatic, but I just never got over it, and don’t want that to happen again! He can win the French all he wants and the aus open, too, (us it just doesn’t feel right for him to win that either!), but it would sting a little for him to have Wimbledon again at any expense to roger.
Love the guy though! This has been such an exciting Wimbledon, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow and week two bring!


aglaea Says:

I’m with Daredevil, “I do not like criticism on Nadal, so please stop that!”
Nadal is a revolutionary innovative player who has the respect and admiration of all the other top players….
Do people really think that cheap comments are going to undermine the evidence of extraordinary demonstrated talents?
I don’t understand the critics at all.
Vamos Rafa! and thank you for your continuing excellence as a player… and as a gentlemanly ambassador for tennis – both of which raise the level of your sport.


Kimmi Says:

It is like this in any sport. if there is a big rivalry between 2 teams or individual players, fans of one team normally does not want other team to win.

A lot of federer fans want nadal to lose, so does nadal fans wants federer to lose. We can complain about it but it will never change.

Fortunately all these quibbles do not affect the players one bit. Let’s hope for some great tennis.

I am just looking forward because I get to watch some live tennis at last. Bring it on and let the best man win…but obviously it will be great if it is my favourites. shammooooooon! as skeezer would say :)


aglaea Says:

Yes the Best is great tennis!
I don’t want Federer to lose, …or Murray,.. or Roddick…or Djokovic although I am very much hoping Nadal wins!
All the above and many others are extremely talented and do not deserve to have disparaging remarks directed their way. It does not take one iota away from any of the above to rightly recognized the talents of each of the others who play at such a hig calibre. Vamos Rafa!… and great admiration for all the excellent tennis players we have the honour of watching!


Mindy Says:

Skeezer,

Regarding your post at 6.21 pm – Bravo! I do believe you when you want to see Rafa and Sod because it should be a great match. I also don’t think that every Fed fan necessarily wants Rafa out early, but some do and that’s fine with me. It’s normal to want to see Fed defend his title and equal Sampras with seven Wimbledon’s!

I appreciate your take on Rafa’s match. I never have a problem calling out Rafa if he plays badly. He will also be honest about that. Rafa is playing better than I expected for the early rounds. I wasn’t sure how he would adjust to the grass, but this isn’t a tournament where he will have time to play himself into form. It’s do or die out there! I thought his match with Haase was high quality, with great play from both of them.

I agree about seeing Fed and Rafa play. It’s quite extraordinary to see them go at it. They are so different and somehow bring out the best in each other. I wanted Rafa to play Fed in the final at RG, but it was the guy who beat him that got there.

It’s also nice to see Roddick playing well,more like the great form he was in during the hardcourt season.

I think we are going to see some outstanding tennis! :)


Mindy Says:

Grendel,

I think Skeezer is more than capable of taking care of himself. Although we have had our differences in the past, he and I have managed to put that aside and can engage in an enjoyable exchange of ideas. I think that is something to applaud.

I don’t think it’s an issue of being a poor judge of character, rather it seems to be a case of sometimes misreading the meaning of someone’s post, maybe reading something into it that was not originally intended.

Please feel free to bore me anytime with your qualifications to my so-called “stern appraisal”. I prefer to characterize it as fair and honest. You admit that it is accurate as far as your feelings are concerned.

If you read what I wrote, I also said that “I understand it”, “I get it” and “it makes perfect sense to me”. In other words, it’s a reasonable and normal reaction to want your favorite player’s greatest rival to lose in a slam.

I would like to think that no one will read more into those words than were intended. That’s how unpleasant confrontations arise.


Huh Says:

“Kimmi Says:

A lot of federer fans want nadal to lose, so does nadal fans wants federer to lose. We can complain about it but it will never change.”

Can only agree 100%!


jane Says:

skeeze says “In fact, this has been a tougher road for some of the top players this year and has made for some exciting tennis in the early rounds. ”

Perfect, and very much agree. Nail-biting aside, it’s nice to see the top guys fight some battles in the early rounds, see them come through shakily, with gusto or whatever … but they’ve mostly all come through.

Should be a thrilling 2nd week, hope I can catch some.

Hoping for more reports from WTF! network skeezerweezer. : )


margot Says:

grendel: please read The Independant 24/01/10 “Murray cuts Isner down to size” by Paul Newman(!). Review of exactly how top players can return serve. In previous match Isner had struck 81 aces BTW, so was not having an “off” tournament.
It’s all about humour isn’t it because for me:
skeezer, you have a light touch and you make me laugh. Cheers.


grendel Says:

Margot – you may be right. I recall watching Murray beating Karlovic just after Karlovic had put out Federer couple of years back in America. He completely neutralised Karlovic’s serve. Still, there was something extra special about Isner’s serving the other day. I look forward to seeing whether he can boost up the rest of his game for next year.
b.t.w., it seems you saw the same BBC film as me (Match of the Day) – didn’t you think Federer’s impromptu response about the queen was funny?


grendel Says:

Kimmi, you put it perfectly, with your usual nice light touch. Even so, there is a kind of plonking deadness about the truly obsessional fan concerning which one finds oneself raising the left eyebrow fractionally. I’m not talking about enthusiasts, b.t.w., like madmax or aglaea – that’s refreshing and even touching.

I still do have a puzzle, though, about the self-defeating nature of a certain kind of partisanship to which I admit to being prone. Because the only loser is oneself. There are times when I watch Nadal and I am entranced by his skills. But generally, tribalism gets in the way of enjoyment,and I think this is a common enough phenomenon to be worth bringing up. I mean, these kind of mea culpas can easily be just self-indulgent breast beatings, but I repeat I think there will be others who share my sense of absurdity even if they are reluctant to bring it up.

I can highlight this a different way. There was a player I particularly used to dislike, and now I have come to rather like him. Whereas before, I would grudgingly concede his skills, now I relish them – just as tennis skills. How silly to deny oneself this innocent pleasure. But there it is, we are what we are.


margot Says:

grendel: I did see it and, in the light of our queenie’s total lack of interest in any two legged sport, it was hilarious.
BTW agree with your comment to kimmi. I also think there is a problem with humour especially British humour which tends to be ironic, non literal and self-depricating. Many a time I’ve written completely tongue in cheek stuff, only for it to be taken completely seriously. I suppose being an Andy Murray/Djko fan, you’ve got to have a sense of humour….Of course the written word can come out flat can’t it, without the intonation, the wink, the wry smile etc.


grendel Says:

“Many a time I’ve written completely tongue in cheek stuff, only for it to be taken completely seriously.” margot – you can say that again!

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