Here’s a great story from one of the truly great tennis blogs. Sports Illustrated’s “Beyond the Baseline” Blog has lots of great original content about the tournaments that are currently going on but author Courtney Nguyen goes beyond that to find lots on interesting tennis stories from around the internet.
On match point, he faults his first serve into the net. His second, a lazy lob, lands several inches over the service line. Allison sees it float out of bounds, bats it “idly far out of his opponent’s court,” and throws his hands in the air. He’s outlasted the European legend, all but clinching the Davis Cup for his country. Except he hasn’t. The linesman—a man named Le Ferrier—does not raise his hand to signify a double fault. He alone thinks it landed in play. Whether Le Ferrier was excessively nationalistic or just cracked under pressure is unclear, but as Allison whacked his return yards out of bounds, the umpire has no choice but to announce deuce. It’s a devastating blow for the American, who “almost literally collapses” before hitting every single shot for the remaining three games out or into the net, dropping the final set 7–5. Thanks to a generous official and the heroics of an aging superstar, the Davis Cup would stay in the City of Light one more year.