American tennis star John Isner is one of the biggest names in the game. Standing at 2.08 metres, that’s nearly 7 foot in old money and a massive serve, recorded at over 241 km/h is BIG by anyone’s definitions.
My annual pilgrimage to London’s O2 for the ATP World Tour Finals had extra purpose this year. I was after John to sign this sketch commemorating one of the great matches in tennis history. At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships he defeated NIcolas Mahut in a five-setter that lasted 11 hours 5 minutes over 2 days in the longest professional match ever. John managed to win the final set 70-68 to end the gruelling marathon. I was very keen to see him secure a place at the year-end event that involves the top eight men’s players plus two alternates. John was ranked at number 11.
Astute arithmetic exponents will deduce that he misses out. However I was grateful to Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, who, ranked at number 10 declined the second alternate slot, and John accepted.
I popped down to the O2 yesterday and it wasn’t difficult to spot him. I even managed to get Nicolas Mahut’s graph to complete the set.