6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68: The scoreboard doesn’t even go that high

The match went so long that it exceeded the limits of the scoreboard! Deadspin pulls some choice quotes out of Xan Brooks's descent into madness live-blogging the marathon Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut.

Just read it. You can follow him as he loses his grip on reality before your very eyes.

It's just a shame somebody had to lose.

Comments (16)
  1. frymaster says:

    best line from one of the BBC commentators was along the lines of "If the French football team had as much commitment as their Tennis players they'd still be in the world cup" :D

  2. JamesW says:

    The Grauniad journo's faux descent into madness reminded me of Donald Crowhurst's real deal: en.wikipedia.org/…/Donald_Crowhurst

    He entered a single-handed round the world yacht race in a (then) novel trimaran. The prototype boat turned out to be hopelessly slow. Instead of limping round the course, or simply giving up, he went round in circles off Brazil, making up false logs. His fake logs pushed a competitor, who thought he was in a race for the line, too far and resulted in a sinking, and left Crowhurst in danger of winning the fastest time prize. This wasn't good for his mental state. The log entries got more and more erratic: they detailed a sane man leaving Teignmouth, and his gradual loss of sanity over a period of several months. They finished on 1 July '69, and so presumably did Crowhurst.

  3. Jared says:

    Charles P blogged http://www.charlespetzold.com/…/The-Mathematics-of-Pathological-Tennis.html about the probabilities of these weird matches.  What happened isn't quite the fluke many might think.

    We're falling down a slippery slope of players with great power service.

  4. Gabe says:

    It was only after playing Wii tennis that I observed that real tennis matches are mostly serves. Does anybody know what percentage of the hits in this match were serves? I imagine that it would be somewhat higher than normal.

  5. Obvious fix for men's tennis: let some of the air out of the ball.

  6. David Walker says:

    I saw a picture of the players standing in front of the scoreboard, and it clearly showed 70 and 68… so I don't understand the title….

  7. Boris says:

    @David, The scoreboard was fixed by IBM overnight after being stuck at (I think) 44-44

  8. Nick says:

    Clearly tennis matches score are too high scoring so they should make the rackets half the size they currently are.  Oh, and if the game ends in a tie, they can flip a coin to see who wins!

    Of course, to offset the absurdity of such a game, it should only be held every 3 years or so; otherwise people would get sick of it really quickly.

  9. Neil says:

    When they get to 98-98 the scoreboard will be in trouble.

  10. prunoki says:

    And what happened to the guy who won? Ha was so exhausted that he could barely play afterwards and got beaten very easily.

  11. Donovan says:

    The scoreboard had non-square pixels.

  12. Anonymous says:

    It's amazing how both of them endured for so long but that doesn't make any of them necessarily better tennis players. It just shows how Isner is a dumb American with all-serve-and-no-game. The reason it went on and on and on is because he simply can fire aces to win his own service game which makes it very very difficult to break his serve but apart from that, he doesn't really have any game. The only time I have seen him play really well besides firing those aces is in the 2009 US Open when he defeated Roddick. What's with the modern Americans tennis players? Sam Querrey is another similar mostly-serve-but-no-game player and everyone knows that Roddick played without a brain with only his serve for seven years before Larry Stefansky revived his carrier (Roddick 2.0).

  13. Falcon says:

    This reminds me of the time when Australian petrol prices passed the $1.00 per litre mark – the prices were shown on the boards in cents per litre (still are, actually), using two digits, a dot and another digit. To display numbers >=100, the stations used 2-digit cards.

  14. David Walker says:

    Thanks for those explanations about the scoreboard.

  15. Ens says:

    @Falcon:  In Canada, they just painted a 1 in front of the digital signs.  Then, when it slipped back under, the painted back over the 1.

    (In the first little while after the transition before they could paint over it, they just had things marked with $0.05 for $1.05, and vice-versa on the way down).

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