Thursday, June 24, 2010

Night of the bloodthirsty ace-machines

Much newsprint will be used to describe this bizarre match (59 all in the final set so far, 10 hours and counting) being played at Wimbledon between Nicolas Mahut and big John Isner. The endurance of the two players has been beyond imagining (though one can also mutter a few dark things about their terrible return-of-service games, which are responsible for this whole mess) but my sympathies are firmly with the Guardian live-blogger Xan Brooks who had to sit through this mind-numbing, nerve-cauterizing serve-fest for a full day. One of the few things you can do to retain sanity in such a situation is to have some fun with words. Brooks’ commentary is here – the funny bits begin around the 4.05 pm mark, where he observes:
The Isner-Mahut battle is a bizarre mix of the gripping and the deadly dull. It's tennis's equivalent of Waiting For Godot, in which two lowly journeymen comedians are forced to remain on an outside court until hell freezes over and the sun falls from the sky.
Other highlights:

"The score stands at 34-34. In order to stay upright and keep their strength, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have now started eating members of the audience. They trudge back to the baseline, gnawing on thigh-bones and sucking intestines. They have decided that they will stay on Court 18 until every spectator is eaten."

"Nicolas Mahut recently knocked the sensor of the net and that this is why the umpire climbed down off his chair and started slapping the cord with his hand, with his mouth hanging open and vomit all down the front of his shirt."

"Under the feet of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, the grass is growing. Before long they will be playing in a jungle and when they sit down at the change of ends a crocodile will come to menace them."

"But come night-fall the world is their oyster. They will play on, play on, right through until dawn. Perhaps they will even leave the court during the change-overs to munch on other people. Has Roger Federer left the grounds? Perhaps they will munch on him, hounding him down as he runs for his car, disembowelling him in the parking lot and leaving Wimbledon without its reigning champion. Maybe they will even eat the trophy too."

Read the full thing. And don't be surprised if Wimbledon finishes in September this year (and the 2010 tennis season extends into 2011) just because of these guys.


  1. hilarious..also the commentary for World Cup football matches is the best on Guardian..

  2. Hilarious! I've been laughing and laughing and laughing!