After the two embraced at the net, Isner acknowledged the crowd and Mahut as the Frenchman slumped in a chair with a towel draped over his head.
Swooping in out of nowhere, an All-England Club official came onto the court with a microphone to begin a ceremony, as if Isner had just won an entire tournament.
Joined by retired British tennis Icons Ann Jones and Tim Henman, Isner and Mahut were kept on court and each presented with some sort of commemorative tchotchke. They left whatever they were in the boxes, so it wasn’t entirely clear what it was.
They then had both players (as well as chair umpire Mo Layani) stand in front of the 70-68 scoreboard for photographers, which all eventually agreed to do. The fans booed, but mostly because the scoreboard they choose to stand next to was under the main stands, and therefore could not be photographed by most in attendance.
It already seemed cruel to restrain Mahut from leaving the court for the odd ceremony, but to make him pose next to the scoreboard was beyond sadistic. Even if he has a lot to be proud of, the guy just found out that he will forever be in the record books in the loser column. Don’t make him smile right now.