WIMBLEDON WEEK: John Isner-Nicolas Mahut Face Again in (Bad) Luck of the Draw

After Isner-Mahut I

 

First a gasp, then a chuckle, then full-out laughter.

That was the response from the crowd Friday, and the tennis world, when Wimbledon announced a first-round match next week: John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut.

Yes, one year after their epic three-day match, which Isner won, 70-68, in the fifth set, they are going to play again. Whatever the mathematical odds of this happening, with names drawn at random, it was just luck of the draw.

Bad luck.

Almost cruel, Isner said.

Not funny, Mahut told Isner the other day, when they talked about whether it might happen again.

A freak moment in sports history is being recreated by a freak lottery-type draw. That match last year became a cult classic. Days later, Isner was in New York, delivering the Top 10 list on David Letterman. (No. 9: “We’ve been playing so long, I’ve forgotten. Am I Isner or Mahut?”)

It is seen as a quirky moment in sports history, but the truth is, this match that would never end, still hasn’t. Isner has not been the same. Mahut suffered depression for months, and physical problems doctors couldn’t diagnose.

A few weeks ago, Mahut asked Wimbledon officials that no matter who he played, would they please not put him on Court 18 again. For both of them, the place is haunted.

 

Read more: http://aol.sportingnews.com/sport/story/2011-06-17/wimbledon-draw-provides-rematch-for-epic-isner-mahut-marathon#ixzz1PZ4AfqDC

About gregcouch

I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else. Or with someone else. That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high. I am a national columnist at FoxSports.com and a FoxSports1 TV insider, and have been a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players, coaches, agents. I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled her foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach. I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’ And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now. Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest. I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. Personal info: One-handed backhand, serve-and-volleyer. View all posts by gregcouch

One response to “WIMBLEDON WEEK: John Isner-Nicolas Mahut Face Again in (Bad) Luck of the Draw

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: