Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let's Calm Down With the Greatest Ever Talk

Yes, it deserves to be front page news. Yes, it was an astounding display of wills and determination.

No, it wasn't the greatest tennis match ever played.

People seem to be falling all over themselves to shower John Isner and Nicolas Mahut with compliments after their obscenely long tennis match at Wimbledon. Many of those compliments are deserved.

Isner and Mahut played one game over an incredible three day span before Isner finally won 70-68 in the final set. The match broke all sorts of records and captured our attention even with the World Cup going on.

That's all wonderful, but before you begin lavishing the marathon match with "greatest ever" tags, remember a few things:

Who?- Nobody but intense tennis followers know who these guys are. This isn't some classic match-up between two greats like Federer and Nadal. These are two unknowns that aren't favored to win anything.

It's Early- This was an early game in the tournament. Bjorn vs McEnroe and Federer vs Nadal were championship matches. They were playing for everything.

Aces- Isner had 112 aces and Mahut had 103, both records. Good for them, but to me, aces are what kills my interest in men's tennis. Why would I stop down and watch someone serve over and over again? Take a look at some of the all time matches and the one thing you'll see are incredible volley segments. Both guys cover the court and refuse to let any shot drop without a challenge. That makes for an all-time tennis match.

Isner and Mahut deserved to be congratulated for refusing to give in and playing through exhaustion to give fans a classic moment in sports. Just don't get too caught up in the moment. Longer doesn't always mean better.

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