Miracle Performance at Wimbledon: John Isner is Literally America’s “Sore” Loser


Now that the USA’s chances of winning the World Cup have ended, we can all turn the channel back to ESPN’s coverage of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship. In case you were too busy watching soccer, you may not have heard that John Isner ended up winning the longest tennis match in history (70-68 in the fifth set). It lasted an epic 11-hours and 5 minutes.

And even if European football fundamentally is a blue-collar sport, beloved by rowdy fans the way those in east Tennessee love NASCAR, it still isn’t the NFL. Or even bass fishing, right?

So we can all get back to Wimbledon. Or at least back to politics as usual. After all, let’s not forget that the U.S. debt went up $1.7 billion during the time it took to play the match.

Still, it was the tennis match of the century, and it is always great to have a reason to cheer for Americans overseas (besides the usual cheering we do for the troops that we are proud of).

But whatever happened to John Isner after that historic first round victory?

Since his first round match should have ended Tuesday night, he was forced to play a match the very next day. So, one day after winning the longest tennis match in history, John Isner lost the shortest men’s match at Wimbledon so far this year.
Marathon man Isner looked tired from his first serve Friday. He quickly required treatment for a neck injury. In the end, the physical miracle he achieved in the previous three days caught up with him and was beaten by unseeded Thiemo de Bakker (Netherlands) 6-0, 6-3, 6-2. The match was over in just 1 hour and 14 minutes. In doing so, Isner broke another tournament record; the five games Isner won is the fewest by a male player this week.

But let’s face it – mentally and physically, the 6 feet 9 inch tall Isner was obviously drained of all energy. He didn’t have much power in his legs and he was low on fuel on the court. After hitting a record 112 against Mahut, Isner served no aces Friday. I guess you could just say that he was one literally sore winner.

John is now back on American soil. He’s back at home in Georgia, which must make his mom happy. There were points during the historic match when she was afraid for her son’s physical state.

I guarantee you that whoever wins Wimbledon may gets cheers, but it won’t be anything compared to the crowds that welcome John Isner home when he steps out onto the court for his first match at this year’s U.S. Open. I’ll be there to lead the cheering. And I’d gladly return for three days to see the whole match.