John Isner’s heavy metal game drums Andy Murray out of Wimbledon
Former champion beaten 6-4, 7-6, 6-7, 6-4 by American
Isner serves 36 aces in show of strength on Centre Court
Amid fevered scenes akin to a revivalist meeting, Andy Murray tried his damnedest to conjure up one last famous late night Centre Court miracle. But father time – and the crunching heavy metal tennis of John Isner – offered a crushing riposte.
Afterwards Murray pledged to be back at Wimbledon if his creaking 35-year-old body holds up, but he conceded that was not a given. It only made this 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (3), 6-4 defeat, his earliest ever in 14 appearances here, sting even harder.
Some of it, though, was out of his control. Over three hours his opponent was a gunslinger who refused to miss, crashing down an extraordinary 36 aces and 80 winners to secure a deserved win. “It’s no secret that I am not a better tennis player than Andy, but I may have been a little bit better today,” he magnanimously conceded. “This was one of the biggest wins of my career.”
As Isner later acknowledged, there is nothing particularly sophisticated about his game. Yet why reinvent the wheel when you possess a howitzer of a serve, and a forehand that tears seven strips of nylon off the ball? The American might be the tennis equivalent of a garage band who has mastered three chords. But he still confounded Murray with his Blitzkrieg Bop.
“I’ve played many times against those players and found ways to make enough returns to turn the matches, whether that’s been against Karlovic, Isner, Raonic, those sorts of guys,” said a downbeat Murray afterwards. “But tonight he was very close to the lines in important moments.”
But, as much it will pain the Wimbledon crowd who have cheered him royally down the years, this was Murray offering a portrait of the artist as an older man. Still supremely talented, sure. But a little slower in the eyes, and between the lines. In a game of millimetres and microseconds, it made all the difference.
“I think most of the players on the tour would tell you that a match like that is won or lost based on a few points here and there,” Murray said. “I didn’t play well enough on those points.”
Beforehand, the bookies had made Murray, who had won all eight of his previous contests against Isner, a strong favourite. But he also knew those victories were all years ago, before his body broke down and his hip was resurfaced.
To read more from TheGuardian.com CLICK HERE…..
Met John’s mom back in April, and she said he is living in Texas now, and I believe he has three young sons, and John Isner is a huge fan of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team, and the Carolina Panthers football team…John is a frequent flyer from Texas to Raleigh for the Hurricanes’ games, and he has a real good flying buddy, in Tom Dundon, the Carolina Hurricanes owner…John flys to the Canes’ games along with Mr. Dundon, on Mr. Dundon’s private plane, and another interesting thing about Big John Isner….
John was listed as being at 6’9, but he actually grew an inch taller after college and he is now at 6’10…The former Page Pirate, and Georgia Bulldog can still go, and John is now at age 36, if I am reading my numbers correctly, and he is still making “sweet music” on the tennis court….
John Isner is one of those Ric Flair type of characters with plenty of optimal charisma, and John is playing on the ‘Other Side of Midnight’, but he still has some good games, serves, and returns left in him….Big John is very involved in working with charitable causes, and this young man is going to leave his mark on the sport of tennis in a positive way….Met his mom as she was campaigning for Katie Rosabi for City Council, and I was stumping for Avery Crump for District Attorney, and for Lisa Johnson Tonkins for Clerk of Court…..