1. The new sheriff. Was it really 2009 that the last holdout caved, and we reached a rare consensus that Roger Federer was the best player in the modern era? Suddenly it's a race again. After retiring from the Australian Open with a knee injury, Rafael Nadal stormed back to win three straight majors, completing the career Grand Slam and bringing his total to nine -- still seven fewer than Federer, but ahead of his trajectory. If Nadal completes the "Rafa Slam" in Australia, the debate will only intensify. Pick a side, but agree it makes for compelling theater.
How 'bout that Mirjana Lucic? Squeaks through the first round of qualifying, barely, winning the third-set tiebreak with no margin. Then wins Rounds 2 and 3 comfortably. And then she routines Alicia Molik. If you see her in a press conference, Jon, tell her she has supporters out there that are happy to see her in the mix again. --Dale Stafford, Atlanta
Once again, I have to object to the lack of respect accorded Caroline Wozniacki. First, dinging her for being No. 2 on the basis of a lot of play is not really backed up -- if you take out her worst half dozen tournaments it has little-to-no impact on the ranking. She has won two tournaments in a row coming into the U.S. Open, including a top-tier tournament. I agree with your assertion that other players haven't stepped up, but why then do you say you can think of a half dozen players that are better? Who are they, and what are their results to say they are better? It reminds me of every time someone says "no disrespect intended" followed by saying something respectful. Likewise, if the rankings are faulty, tell us your system that puts other players in "better" rankings and justify it. Otherwise, it's just so much smoke. It's odd to me that Wozniacki doesn't get more press and kudos. I suspect that it's a combination of a non-confrontational personality, lack of controversy and her
I'm wondering if anyone else feels that Nicolas Mahut, considering the historic nature and the quality of the match he played against John Isner at Wimbledon, deserved the courtesy of a U.S. Open wild card? (he lost in the last round of the qualies). Whether it is the USTA, the ATP, or any other governing body, something should have been done to acknowledge the appreciation many have developed for this courageous and talented player. John Isner, of course, is admitted directly into the main draw (if he does actually decide to play with torn ankle ligaments). I've written a blog post on this subject on my website, which you may feel free to promote, thank you very much! --Steven Zynszajn, New York
We've had a match that ended 70-68 in the fifth set, a near upset of Roger Federer, a visit by the Queen, and a spitting incident. Otherwise it was a slow first week at the All England Club. Herewith, our midterm marks, graded on the USC Athletic Department curve.
WIMBLEDON, England-- SI.com caught up with Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim after the conclusion of John Isner's 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 win over Nicolas Mahut. The first-round battle took 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days -- the longest match in tennis history.
The Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut is so improbable, so thoroughly preposterous, one searches for comparisons. Suffice it to say that the fifth set of last year's classic Wimbledon final -- Roger Federer over Andy Roddick, 16-14 -- looks rather paltry just now.
SI.com caught up with Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim after the suspension of the John Isner-Nicolas Mahut match at Wimbledon on Wednesday. Play was suspended with the players tied at 59-59 in the fifth set. It is the longest match in tennis history at 10 hours, including 7 hours, 6 minutes in the fifth set alone.