Sportswriter vs. Tennis Star

Hruby is no match for Isner's 140mph serve
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 12:16 PM CDT
John Isner of the United States serves to Roger Federer of Switzerland at the US Open tennis tournament in New York, Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007.    (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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(Newser) – John Isner, at 6 feet 9 inches the second-tallest player on the ATP tour, can serve a tennis ball upwards of 140mph. Although even professionals can have trouble returning such a bullet (Isner has won a set off Roger Federer) ESPN columnist Patrick Hruby (admittedly "beyond terrible" at tennis) decided to put himself in the line of fire.

First, Hruby got advice from someone who has beaten Isner. "With his height and wingspan, the trajectory is just so weird," Somdev Devvarman said. "You have absolutely no idea where he's going on any serve." Decked out in padded gear but lacking a cup, Hruby ultimately decided to concentrate on protecting himself rather than returning Isner's serve.