We had never seen Pascal Maria, the Greatest Umpire in Tennis History, without his cool sunglasses, and it was a little like seeing Clark Kent instead of Superman. (Of course, the glasses analogy is a little flawed, but go with us.)
But apparently Clark Kent is still a bit of a control freak. In the chair for John Isner’s match against Marcel Ilhan, he even corrected the ball boys’ tossing style. He craned his neck during changeovers to see something (anything?) above and behind him. He even tried to fix something on his little roof.
But despite all this activity, with “a love for tennis, an eye for detail, a high threshold for waiting, a willingness to sublimate his ego” (Wertheim!), he put in yet another flawless-yet-deeply-idiosyncratic-just-under-the-surface performance. We couldn’t look away.