While American soccer fans reveled in the glory of Landon Donovan's game-winning goal yesterday, for the nation's tennis supporters victory was not so sweet--until today. American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut spent the better part of Wednesday, and Tuesday, and Thursday playing in what was to become the longest tennis match in history. Battling for some 11 hours over the course of three days, the contest finally came to an end when Isner slipped a backhand past Mahut, winning the match and leaving commentators exhausted, overwhelmed and awe-struck. Regardless of the result, the day had several winners. Who came out on top?
- Isner, Clearly, says Carl Bialik at the Wall Street Journal. Noting the spectacular performance by both players, Bialik says Isner deserved the win. "Certainly there was no reason to expect that two professional tennis players could hold serve against each other 85 times in a row each. But if it had to happen, it was a fair bet that John Isner -- who finally broke that streak with a break to advance to the second round at Wimbledon on Thursday -- would be one of them."
- Tennis, says Shane Bacon at Yahoo Sports. Taking into account the spectacular performances by both players he says, "Being matched up against each other on a court most fans never venture to, Isner and Mahut made it the most memorable moment of tennis so far in 2010, eclipsing anything that will happen the rest of the week at Wimbledon."
- Thiemo de Bakkar, says Jon Wertheim at Sports Illustrated. In an interview with the magazine, Wertheim says that though Isner won, his next competitor, Thiemo de Bakkar, could be a winner too. "De Bakker won his match 16-14 in the fifth set. De Bakker must have been thinking, 'Oh, boy, I'm toast in the next round.' In theory, Isner ought to be dead on his feet...."
- Not ESPN says Jon Solomon at the Birmingham News. "I know ESPN has put a bunch of money into buying the rights and promoting World Cup soccer. And I love World Cup soccer. But to switch to a World Cup game during the fifth set of an epic Wimbledon tennis match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut on Wednesday was inexcusable."