By Josh Kramer
The draw for the third tennis Grand Slam of the year has been released. Wimbledon, the most prestigious and historic tennis tournament in the world is just a few days away. And already, the excitement seems to be at an all time high. Normally in Grand Slams, there are plenty of good first round matchups. But I cannot remember a first round matchup that has caught the attention of the entire world like the one that has the entire tennis world talking. The anticipation for this match has the feel of a championship battle. You would think that Connors and McEnroe were going toe to toe on Center Court the way people are talking.
Isner versus Mahut part two is set for Tuesday.
#46 versus #99. Throw the rankings out the window. This is the match that everyone is waiting for at this point. Sure after Tuesday, all eyes will focus on the usual contenders like Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray. But the entire tennis world seems focused solely on this one match. What were the chances of a rematch occurring in the first round between the two men who gave us arguably the greatest match in tennis history?
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the chances were about 0.7% of the two unseeded players drawing each other. In other words, the chances were 7 out of a 1000. So not a great chance. Though not impossible odds.
Last year these two lesser known players defined their tennis careers to this point at the first round of Wimbledon last year. The American and the Frenchman duked it out in an epic 11 hour and 5 minute battle. A match that took place over three days. It was absolutely ludicrous and something that I along with many will never forget. And believe me, there are not too many other first round matches at Wimbledon that stick out in my mind or anyone elses for that matter.
Sadly, I think either one of these players has a better shot at winning the lottery than producing a match that will even live up to half of the hype. Matches like their meeting last year at the All England Club do not happen twice. They are once in a lifetime type of matches. I hope that people are not disappointed when this match turns out to be just another match at the Championships.
Until the completion of this duel on Tuesday, Isner/Mahut will be the talk of the tournament. I hope both players enjoy their time in the limelight.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.