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Record-breaker Isner finally runs out of steam

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-06-25 13:00:49

LONDON: John Isner said he would be doing "anything but tennis" as he tries to recover from his record-shattering exploits at Wimbledon.


Isner, who played the longest tennis match ever to make it through the first round, crashed out of the second round in straight sets as the "brutal" pain and exhaustion took its toll.


The marathon man was clobbered 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 by Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker on Friday, less than 20 hours after beating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in the unprecedented 11-hour five-minute, 183-game battle of wills.


The American world number 19 said he did not want to see a tennis racquet again for at least five days as he attempts to get over his energy-sapping exploits.
"Anything but tennis," he said after losing to De Bakker.


"I`ll watch sports. I`ll take in the World Cup. I`ll go fishing. I`ll do whatever. Just anything away from the tennis court."


Isner was due to partner Queen`s winner Sam Querrey in the men`s doubles but has pulled out, having worn the skin off his little toes and developed a "pretty gnarly blister" to boot.


Despite a good sleep on Thursday night, Isner still felt drained from his three-day epic first round match in which the score in the last set was an incredible 70-68.
And Wimbledon organisers did him no favours by putting him on first on Court 5 on Friday - giving him no chance of extra rest.


"I slept fine but I was obviously a bit drained," Isner admitted.


"I just didn`t have much in they way of my legs and - I was just low on fuel out there. I didn`t really have a chance."


Isner, who hadn`t lost a service game since the second set on Tuesday against Mahut, lost his first three serves as De Bakker romped through the first set 6-0.
"It was brutal," Isner said. "Things were looking pretty bleak right from the get-go. But credit to my opponent - he still had to play well. He stayed in it and he was obviously a lot better player.


"I have never been this exhausted before."


Isner will be off the tennis court for a few days as his toe heals and he replenishes his energy reserves.


He added: "My next tournament is in Atlanta. I do have a nice break. I am going to go home to Tampa, Florida and I am not going to practice for at least five days.
"I am going to have to stay off my feet as much as possible."


And the 25-year-old has not given up hope of making more of a mark at Wimbledon in the future - rather than being remembered just for his longest match record.


"I do think I have the game to do very well here - it is just a matter of me making a couple of adjustments," he said.


With all the fuss about Isner, De Bakker seemed like a film set extra on Court 5.
"It is tough because you know he is struggling," the Dutch number one said.


"In the first set he didn`t try at all. In the second set he was trying a little better and in the third also."


Asked if he had any sympathy for Inser, De Bakker added: "Of course. 70-68 is pretty sick. It is unbelievable."


BDST: 2138hrs, June 25, 2010
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