The Marathon At Wimbledon

Think of everything that could be done in the time of 6 hours and 36 minutes.  One could drive from Miller Park to Busch Stadium in that time and still have 35 minutes to spare.  You would be able to watch the entire Titanic movie twice.  You could listen to the song “American Pie” 47 times.  Or, you could be John Isner and Kevin Anderson playing a tennis match.  Both were playing for a trip the the Wimbledon championship set to be played on Sunday.  Both players turned pro in 2007 and both are big players with Anderson 6’8” tall and Isner at 6’10” tall.  Here is what the score turned out to be:

Every set went into a tie break with the 5th set lasting 50 games.  Breaks did not come easy in this match.  There were some distinguishing factors that led to Anderson ultimately winning the match.  First, he was able to minimize unforced errors.  He only had 24 compared to Isner’s 59.  Considering this gap, it is quite amazing that Isner was able to last as long as he did.  Another separation from Isner was that Anderson won 59% on 2nd serves whereas Isner won not even half of his 2nd serve points (48%).  Anderson, according to Wimbledon notes, had 3 keys to the match and one was to win more than 75% of points on first serve which he did (84%).  Isner had great success in his keys to the match by keeping first serve win percentage greater than 68% and winning more than 72% of points on first serve.  He was successful in all five sets.  He failed to win more than 28% of first serve return points which ultimately led to him struggling to win however Anderson also failed in that key to the match.  This also explains why the match lasted as long as it did.  John Isner covered more ground in the match running just under 3 miles.

This match was the longest match in Center Court history at Wimbledon and 2nd longest Wimbledon match ever.  John Isner played the longest match back in 2010 first round against Nicolas Mahut where Isner won in a match that lasted just over 11 hours.  After a long battle, Anderson advances to his first ever Wimbledon Final to face the winner of Djokovic and Nadal whose match had to be pushed back nearly 3 hours.  While Anderson will have to recover in less than 48 hours he will likely not want to play another 6 plus hour match.

 

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