Possibilities about Bradmanesque, Isner-Mahut records (see post below for context) have been raised via Twitter:
1. Federer reached 22 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals, and the next greatest runs were Lendl and Laver, both on 10.
I say: the magical thing about Bradman and Isner-Mahut is that they absolutely, definitively embody a very simple truth about a major sport. Who was the best batsman ever? What was the longest ever match?
Federer's record might be - history suggests is - just as unbreakable. Fair play, but it feels to me a fundamentally less interesting record. Injuries, one other player's miraculous day or other factors might break such a stat. Someone else, for instance, might have been a greater player than the Fed for longer and still not have the stat, and 'Who was the greatest player' is a more interesting question than 'Who reached the most consecutive grand slam semi-finals, indicating consistency of excellence over a long time.' It is A measure of that thing, but not THE measure. A cricket average is not a perfect measure of batting, but the astonishing gap between Bradman and everyone else means that it doesn't have to be.
For instance, tennis-wise, Rod Laver won the Grand Slam in 1962 before going pro, and in 1969 he won it when pros were allowed to play in the Grand Slam tournaments again (only player to have done it). That's another way of looking at longevity and durability.
2. Nadia Comaneci: 7x pefect 10s at Montreal Olympics. Scoreboards weren't built to cope; had to display as 1.0.
I say: I have problems with subjective scoring systems, and I don't know much about gymnastics. My question: is Nadia Comaneci* definitively, absolutely, unarguably the greatest gymnast of all time?
Any more? I'm really interested in this now.
* In 2006, aged 44, she had her first child. He's called Dylan. So is my cousin. You do the math.