It would be difficult to endorse the ongoing John Isner vs. Kevin Anderson Wimbledon semifinal as a sports-viewing experience, per se—maybe more as a masochistic endurance sport. It’s been over four-and-a-half hours. Serves are big. Points are short. When they are not, they are not exactly ... good, either. There are aces. There are tiebreaks. Of course there would be tiebreaks.
But there have been some fine moments in those tiebreaks, tiny gems to reward your infinite patience. The third-set tiebreak was the high point for this match. Here, for example, is Kevin Anderson moving smoothly, keenly tracking Isner’s colossal serves and cracking some plucky returns right back into the middle of the court. And there is John Isner shambling to net and making a gorgeous pickup off the grass, like some oversized, lobotomized Roger Federer. This is about as good as this matchup will be:
The breakers at least offered some short-format thrills, but now we are trapped in the fifth and final set, where noble Wimbledon does not offer the sweet mercy of a tiebreak. It’s 8-8 at time of writing. Gather yourself for a 28-26 “epic.” It’s not like there’s anything cool waiting in the wings, or anything. Take your time.