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Marathon man Isner loses in 2nd round at Wimbledon
Question of the Day
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — One day after winning the longest tennis match ever, John Isner lost in about 75 minutes.
The Wimbledon marathon man looked weary from the outset Friday, required treatment for a neck injury and was beaten by unseeded Thiemo de Bakker 6-0, 6-3, 6-2.
Isner had no aces after hitting a record 112 in his epic three-day victory over Nicolas Mahut.
"The turnaround time — he just didn't have enough time to get his body right," said Isner's coach, Craig Boynton. "He's one tired boy."
Starting shortly after noon in warm sunshine, Isner received a standing ovation when he walked onto court. He immediately lost his serve — something that didn't happen once in his 70-68 fifth set against Mahut.
Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, two Belgians making Wimbledon comebacks, won to set up a fourth-round showdown Monday.
Clijsters, seeded eighth, beat No. 27 Maria Kirilenko 6-3, 6-3. Henin, seeded 17th, defeated No. 12 Nadia Petrova 6-1, 6-4.
No. 4 Jelena Jankovic beat No. 28 Alona Bondarenko 6-0, 6-3. No. 11 Marion Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up, defeated Greta Arn 6-3, 6-4.
Isner didn't warm up before taking the court and showed up unshaven. He dropped the first set in 16 minutes, winning only nine points while committing 11 unforced errors.
After the set, he took an injury timeout and received a neck massage from a trainer. Boynton said Isner's neck began to stiffen after the Mahut match.
After the loss, Isner pulled out of doubles before his first-round match with partner Sam Querrey, citing a toe injury.
"Your body's like, 'Hey, what are you doing to me here?'" Boynton said. "I mean, that match seemed like it was two weeks long."
The crowd roared when Isner finally won a game after 32 minutes to trail 2-1 in the second set. His shots began to show more zip, but his movement remained sluggish. Several times he didn't even pursue shots, and when he buried a forehand in the net in the third set, he bent over with his hands on his knees.
Isner's average first serve was 114 mph, well off his normal pace, which often tops 130. He won less than half his service points and never reached break point on de Bakker's serve.
"I wouldn't have bet a lot of money on him today," said Isner's mother, Karen. "But he did his best."
The listless performance was hardly surprising, given the victory over Mahut lasted a record 183 games and more than 11 hours of play. The records were mind-boggling:
—Longest match: 11 hours, 5 minutes
—Longest set: 8 hours, 11 minutes
—Most games in a match: 183
—Most games in a set: 138
—Most aces: 215 (Isner 112, Mahut 103)
—Most consecutive service games held: 168 (84 each)
The drama of the match — which started on Tuesday and was suspended by darkness over two nights — overshadowed another historic occasion Thursday at the All England Club.
Queen Elizabeth II visited Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years, but stayed for only one match, sitting in the Royal Box to watch Britain's Andy Murray win his second-round match in straight sets over Jarkko Nieminen.
The queen did not see top-ranked players Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams win their matches.
Hours after the queen left the grounds, Nadal took Centre Court. He fell behind two sets to one before rallying to beat Robin Haase 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, winning all 20 service points in the final set.
Nadal had been invited to meet the queen with other players earlier in the day, but defended his decision to practice for his match instead.
"I am playing in Wimbledon. It's not a joke. I love this tournament," Nadal said. "I have a lot of respect for the queen. I have a lot of respect for this tournament. Today is a match day for me, no? So I have my things to do."
Serena Williams did meet the queen and was slightly disappointed by the curtsy she had been practicing for days.
"I couldn't get as low as I wanted to," she said.
Williams then went out and beat Anna Chakvetadze 6-0, 6-1 in 48 minutes, but wasn't happy the match was put on Court 2 instead of Centre Court in recognition of her status as defending champion and three-time winner.
"I don't think I should be out there," Williams said.
The Queen clapped politely at the end of Murray's victory, while Murray and Nieminen bowed in synchronized fashion coming on and off the court.
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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