Some tennis, like the ongoing Nadal-Djokovic semifinal at Wimbledon, is so clean and crisp that it makes you want to get out on a court and whale on some balls. Other tennis might cause you to enter the fetal position and stay there for a long time—hypothetically speaking, six hours and 36 minutes. But today’s overgrown and grotesque first men’s semifinal did end on an seriously inspired note: Watch how Kevin Anderson broke John Isner’s historically suffocating serve at 24-24 in the fifth set. More specifically, watch the first two points of that game:
That’s a 6-foot-8 man, after six hours of toil, getting very, very low for a stab volley and knifing it perfectly into open court. On the next point, that same large man falls on his ass, gets up, puts the ball back into play with his racket in the wrong hand, and wins the rally. That was the decisive break—Anderson held serve in the next game to claim a spot in the Wimbledon final. There wasn’t a whole lot of beauty to be found in those five sets, but there was that single, compressed moment of heroism.