The Big Dawg wins … finally!

John Isner a winner again. (Associated Press)

John Isner a winner again. (Associated Press)

A master of understatement, former UGA tennis great John Isner summed up how he felt after his marathon match against France’s Nicolas Mahut by saying with a grin that he was “a little bit tired.”

After playing the record-breaking match lasting 11 hours and 5 minutes, it’s a wonder either of them could even stand, much less endure the award presentation and stilted interviews the All England Club put them through at the end. Isner graciously praised his opponent as “an absolute warrior,” and Mahut said “John deserved to win. … He is a champion.”

And then, as if they hadn’t been through enough, they were dragged down to the scoreboard to pose for pictures! Wimbledon was really milking this one.

This wasn’t pretty tennis. It was grind-’em-out, back and forth. But in the end Isner won it with a couple of fine shots.

The overwhelming impression, though, was of the two players’ determination. Isner truly lived up to his Bulldog heritage.

You know Manny Diaz and Dan Magill must be wearing the biggest smiles imaginable.

Congratulations, John. Woof woof!

UPDATE: It was great seeing Isner sporting that red vintage Georgia Bulldog T-shirt in his post-match TV appearances!

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68 comments Add your comment

HDizz

June 24th, 2010
12:25 pm

Way to go John!!!

Hire Russ!!!!!

June 24th, 2010
12:26 pm

ForsythDawg

June 24th, 2010
12:27 pm

How ’bout them Dawgs?! Congrats to Isner!

Willis

June 24th, 2010
12:30 pm

Bill-

you seen this yet?

Ok, not me saying it, but Philsteele.com

Georgia will ascend past Florida, Meyer’s reign is over!!

Why?
1) No Charlie Strong
2) No Tim Tebow

http://www.philsteele.com/Blogs/Individual_Team_blogs/Georgia_Blog.html

gdawginkalamazoo

June 24th, 2010
12:34 pm

Congrats to Isner. Congrats to Mahut for a well played match.

guy

June 24th, 2010
12:37 pm

theres a joke somewhere here about ‘living up to his bulldog heritage” by taking a very very very long time to ever win anything, but im too lazy to come up with anything.

Phillips

June 24th, 2010
12:40 pm

Typical. It takes a UGa guy over 11 hours to beat a Frenchman while the rest of the world does it in minutes.

guy

June 24th, 2010
12:41 pm

there it is. solid work.

JB

June 24th, 2010
12:42 pm

When are you going to do a story on Ga. Tech tennis?……..LOL, just kidding

to lazy guy

June 24th, 2010
12:43 pm

I think if you will look in a mirror, you will find the joke.

Red

June 24th, 2010
12:45 pm

What u talking ’bout Willis? How do you take a tennis article and turn it into a pathetic attempt to have UGA pass UF? Meyer owns UGA & Richt. Hopefully UGA will be better and are an easy “darkhorse” pick. How they managed to lose 5 games with their roster of talent last year is a joke.

How2fish

June 24th, 2010
12:52 pm

Phillips its just more fun to let them think they have a chance. Great win John Congrats!

Dawggrl

June 24th, 2010
12:53 pm

Congrats to Isner, a hard fought win! Love to see those who have worn the red and black succeed in their next level of life. Go Dawgs!!!!

GT Alum

June 24th, 2010
12:54 pm

Congratulations, Isner. I first found out about this match when I went to get lunch yesterday and they were tied at 32 games each in the 5th. I’ve been keeping an eye on it ever since. It was a magnificent display of endurance and sportsmanship by both players.

Hopefully, in the wake of the French World Cup fiasco, Mahut will get the hero’s reception he deserves from his countrymen. He displayed the character and grit Les Bleus lacked.

dawgfan

June 24th, 2010
12:55 pm

Saw him on the Today Show this morning wearing his Bulldog t-shirt. I bet all his Waffle House co-workers were excited, right haters? LOL @ the haters.

Iceman

June 24th, 2010
1:00 pm

A great Dawg, and continuing on as a great pro!

UT96

June 24th, 2010
1:00 pm

Congrats! Great match!

Burdell, PhD

June 24th, 2010
1:01 pm

Great job Isner! What a match! Talk about a testament to mental and physical endurance.

Local guy does well…gotta love it…regardless of where he went to school.

Go Jackets!

jdawg

June 24th, 2010
1:02 pm

Enter your comments here

jdawg

June 24th, 2010
1:03 pm

Another Great Day in Bulldog Athletics….Congrats

BlahBlahBlah

June 24th, 2010
1:26 pm

A great historical match. Why are people congratulating him though? It took him 11 hours to beat the 148th player in the world in the first round. Its not exactly an accomplishment. He pretty much ruined himself for the rest of the tournament.

Coachdawg 2000

June 24th, 2010
1:36 pm

BlahBlahBlah-
How many Wimbledon mathces have you won? Although, he should have had some Germans march around the court a few times and then Frenchy would have simply surrendered!

boots

June 24th, 2010
1:40 pm

Great seeing all the Dawg hats and shirts in the London crowd. Red and Black looks good anywhere in the world, no matter the language or accent.

to BlahBlah

June 24th, 2010
1:43 pm

If Roger Federer was impressed, then so was I. To battle at that level of competition for 11 hours, is simply amazing.

birdman

June 24th, 2010
1:54 pm

who cares its tennis!

BlahBlahBlah

June 24th, 2010
1:58 pm

Its very impressive that both of these guys lasted that long and kept the match going but giving congratulations to the 19th best player in the world for beating the 148th best player in the world in 11 hours seems a little stupid.

GT Alum

June 24th, 2010
2:03 pm

BlahBlahBlah, we’re congratulating Isner on having the toughness, endurance and competitiveness to see it through.

Also, the better team/player often is challenged by a lesser team/player in sports. When the better one loses, it’s called an upset. It’s not uncommon.

Scott W.

June 24th, 2010
2:05 pm

You coming on here whining about it seems stupid.

to BlahBlah

June 24th, 2010
2:09 pm

Are you trying to stir everyone up, or are you that unhappy?

NewnanDawg

June 24th, 2010
2:13 pm

What an amazing piece of history he now owns. My serving shoulder got sore just watching some of the fifth set. I cannot believe I had to head out to an appt. at 11:30 am this morning (the changeover at 69-68) and missed the final game. At least there will be replays of it for years.

Congrats to an awesome Dawg!

anotherdawg

June 24th, 2010
2:16 pm

To re-inforce what GT Alum said, another frenchman, Gregory Havret finished second in the US Open at Pebble Creek. He entered the Open ranked number 391 in the world

gdawginkalamazoo

June 24th, 2010
2:18 pm

GT Alum, good point. Mahut can go home with his head held high and be proud of this match.

y

June 24th, 2010
2:18 pm

Wow all the sudden everyone cares about Tennis. Congrats to Mr. Isner on a historic match and victory.

Redtop

June 24th, 2010
2:19 pm

Kudos to Isner for wearing his UGA T-shirt for the ESPN interview. The kid is a winner and in the record books whether some of you folks like it or not.

Sam

June 24th, 2010
2:32 pm

Great job John and a great match

Truth

June 24th, 2010
2:32 pm

Why cannot this winner (great job!) simply be an American? I’m very happy for Isner, but come on….. who else but the ajc would label him the ‘college’ grad? Will he be a 75 year old man and still be referred to as a uga grad? Give me a break! Does this mean he has done nothing else throughout his life?

Can you NOW refer to him as a Wimbleton match winner rather than uga grad?

JDDog

June 24th, 2010
2:36 pm

Gives new meaning to Finish the Drill, doesn’t it? Congrats John, for the hard fought victory and for being such a gracious ambassador for UGA and American tennis.

Come on Truth

June 24th, 2010
2:37 pm

I’m proud that he’s an American and that he’s a Dawg. This is a UGA blog, last time I looked.

Tide Rising

June 24th, 2010
2:38 pm

Congrats to the Georgia grad who gutted it out and beat the Frenchie in maybe the greatest marathon match ever played, certainly at Wimbledon anyway. Its something the dawg fans can certainly be proud of and this is one Bama fan who was certainly pulling for him to get it done.

NewnanDawg

June 24th, 2010
3:06 pm

Truth – it is very rare that a tennis player with the ability to crack the top 20 in the world plays an entire college career before turning pro. If you know anything about tennis, you are aware of that. In addition, the fact that Isner is a recent graduate of UGA, helped win a national title there his senior year, and often displays his UGA colors (friends and family that attend his matches wear UGA apparel frequently as well) all make his alma mater relevant and give the story more local emphasis. If this had been a Tech grad, I would have fully expected the same emphasis. Now, get over your hatred of UGA to congratulate the guy without conditions, or just leave it alone.

19th Hole Dawg

June 24th, 2010
3:07 pm

Congrats to Isner. Way to gut it out!! He’s a DGD. Excellent representative of UGA and the USA at Wimbledon.

Also did anyone notice how well UGA golfer and amateur Russell Henley did at the US Open?

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — At the start of the week, Russell Henley signed autographs for people who just wanted any player’s signature.

By the end of the week, plenty of people around Pebble Beach Golf Links knew the University of Georgia junior from Macon.

Getting loud ovations at nearly every hole, Henley finished his tournament at 8 over par and tied for 16th place. He tied Illinois’ Scott Langley for the low amateur award and netted a top-20 finish in his first PGA Tour event.

“If I never play another round of golf, then this is enough,” Henley said after shooting a 2-over-par 73 in the final round. “This was just the most amazing experience.”

Henley, who was named Golfweek’s college golfer of the year this past week, became just the third amateur in the past 30 years to finish in the top 20 at the U.S. Open.

http://www.macon.com/2010/06/21/1169591/henley-caps-first-us-open-with.html

How2fish

June 24th, 2010
3:14 pm

Tide Rising classy post ! Kudo’s

anotherdawg

June 24th, 2010
3:24 pm

Classy post for GT Alum as well. We need more of these type of posts. Some humor is great, but nobody enjoys the kindergarden stuff.

anotherdawg

June 24th, 2010
3:27 pm

Woops, Kindergarten. Pardon me.

DawginOH

June 24th, 2010
3:34 pm

Way to hang in there, John. Sic ‘em at Wimbledon!!

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

June 24th, 2010
3:40 pm

congrats to isner
way to represent USA and UGA

HBTD

June 24th, 2010
3:41 pm

Ain’t it great to be a Ga. Bulldog!!???

NewnanDawg

June 24th, 2010
3:44 pm

Congrats to the Henley kid as well – thanks for the update 19th. And a thank you to Tide Rising and GT Alum for the thoughtful comments. This kind of story makes it easy to take a little break from the football rivalries for a little while.

Go Dawgs!

GaDawg

June 24th, 2010
4:33 pm

Congratulations, and Thank you John Isner!

UGA is Just Fine...

June 24th, 2010
4:52 pm

Congrats to Isner!!! Unbelieveable the amount of focus those two had yesterday and today. Anyone catch his interview this morning before play resumed?
When asked how he was feeling. he mentioned other than being a little tired and having no skin on either pinky toe he was okay. OUCH!