Wednesday, June 23, 2010
You can be the best or the brightest or the fastest or the strongest. Or you can just hang on longer -- far, far longer -- than anyone else in history.
It’s Wimbledon, and watch these guys -- Isner and Mahut. Not for the best serves, or returns, or strategy. Watch these two guys because they’re so far in their heads, they won’t let go, they can’t let go. 59-59 games in the final set – beyond what’s ever been done, so way beyond it’s crazy, it’s -- the commentators tried to come up with a superlative -- “Epic, no, beyond that, it’s… epic and then something…”
And I’ll bet anyone who has ever punted a ball over the net is boring others with their personal best.
(Sybil. Semi final, Juniors. She had a better forehand, I had a better backhand. We had played before and before and before. It seemed it was always Sybil or it was always me.
But this one match, we pounded away for hours,from early afternoon until dark. We finally weren’t playing tennis at all; we just smacked each other’s hearts back and forth, cross court and down the line.
All other matches I remember because I raised a trophy, or didn’t. But this one I remember from right in the middle. Just the ball and my arm, and the way my arm crossed my chest and stopped, then swung free. There weren’t ten voices, or five or even one in my head. The whole world was silent, but for the whack and the whack and the whack.)
In soccer, even in the World Cup, if two teams are evenly matched on a given day, they’ll call the whole thing a draw so everyone can go out and get drunk.
Not so in tennis. 59-59 games in the final set? Tomorrow, lift one for Isner and Mahut. We’ll never see the likes of this again.
ap photo. Epicalifragilistic match continues tomorrow.