Wimbledon set at 118 games

2010-06-23 22:30

London - Play was suspended on Wednesday in the longest tennis match ever played as France's Nicolas Mahut and John Isner of the United States came off court at 59-59 in the final set at Wimbledon.

France's Mahut and Isner of the United States made tennis history as they set a new record for the longest Grand Slam singles match ever.

They surpassed the previous time of six hours and 33 minutes set at the 2004 French Open, when Fabrice Santoro beat fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 16-14.

The record number of aces served in a match at Wimbledon also fell.

Croatian Ivo Karlovic previously held that record, having served 51 aces in a defeat to Italian Daniele Bracciali in 2005.

But both had surpassed that mark in the clash between 23rd seed Isner and grass-court specialist Mahut, who were still contesting the final set of a match carried over from Tuesday.

The previous record for the longest match at Wimbledon was six hours and nine minutes, set in the 2006 men's doubles quarter-finals.

In the men's singles here, it was five hours and 28 minutes, set in 1989 in a match between Holmes and Witsken of the United States.

The previous record longest set at Wimbledon was 62 games, set in a men's doubles match in 1968.

Back then, Olmedo of Peru and Segura of Ecuador beat Forbes and Segal of South Africa 32-30, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, in the days before tie-breaks were introduced for all but the final set.

Mahut and Isner were still tussling at 59-59 in the final set on Court 18 when play was suspended.

Scoreboard: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 59-59 and still counting...


  • DAVE - 2010-06-23 20:55


  • 10111 - 2010-06-23 21:25

    I thought there is a problem with the scoring system on tv, until I heard the umpire. Incredible.

  • Adie - 2010-06-23 21:31

    At 9.30pm on Wednesday night, still they play at 54 games all in the final set. They have been playing for 9hrs and 20mins!!!

  • John - 2010-06-23 21:48

    Whoever goes through in this game, will most certainly lose in the next.

  • Geedee - 2010-06-23 21:49

    Surely the organisers should stop the match at some point? It sounds as though those two players could literally die out there from exhaustion. And how can the winner recover in time for his next match? I think it's crazy.

  • rob - 2010-06-23 22:40

    Close to 10 hours of play. they should serve lunch, drinks and snacks to the players, Great for the sponsors

  • Craig W - 2010-06-23 23:58

    This is how long every tennis game feels when they drone on and on about Murray's chances of winning…

  • Doorboot - 2010-06-24 00:11

    My hat is of for these guys. This is a lesson in perseverance, well done.

  • John - 2010-06-24 00:15

    Who is to say there won't be a longer match in future? So it can't be the longest EVER, only the longest SO FAR. Please use the English language properly.

  • Jon - 2010-06-24 00:42

    Before today at Wimbledon, the longest set ever played in tournament tennis was in a men's doubles match in Newport, RI in 1967 with a score of 49-47.

  • Trevor - 2010-06-24 01:19

    I love it.... Never give up... This has become more than a game of tennis! There is more at stake here now than going through to the next round.

  • endurance - 2010-06-24 01:40

    It's incredible! These guys are awesome, just their tenacity and endurance makes them winners! Well done!

  • heroic endurers - 2010-06-24 01:43

    Incredible! Modern day heroes!

  • Pieter Swart - 2010-06-24 04:21

    Forgive me for sounding cynical, but is this really possible unless they agreed in advance to pull a stunt? Neither of them would have made it to the latter stages of the competition, and both of them are now big news and entering the record books. I could of course be wrong, but I am sceptical.

  • Big D - 2010-06-24 05:12

    This is a remarkable achievement. They should be inducted into Wimbledon's Hall of fame. It is not really likely that the record (still to be concluded) will be surpassed

  • Paul van Zijl - 2010-06-24 05:59

    This is amazing! In fact so amazing that we must consider that it is concocted by the players.

  • ROB LOBLAW - 2010-06-24 06:03

    Its pure agony to just watch tennis...imagine watching it for ten hours!! Must be the worst form of torture there is out there!!

  • AJ - 2010-06-24 07:19

    It should not be too long before they impose a limit of games in the final set and then have a traditional tiebreaker. Whilst interesting from a novelty record breaking perspective, it does not help the tournament schedule for a start (taking up 2 other matches time at least). Most importantly as has been suggested, it probably renders the victor far too tired to adequately front up for his next match which seems a touch unfair.

  • easye - 2010-06-24 07:23

    I played 2 hours the other day..... was done for after the game.... cant imagine playing 4 hours, not even saying 10 hours!!!! They deserve a medal and a Powerade or Redbull sponsor!!!

  • ET - 2010-06-24 07:52

    Amazing! So they started 2 days ago and u play every 2nd day. So what now? They hopefully finish that set today and then the winner again play his next match today? If not they going to start falling behind.

  • Ian - 2010-06-24 07:57

    WOW I really admire their tenacity. A never-give-up attitude that many of us have lost.

  • manjezi - 2010-06-24 08:28

    brilliant! watching the game was exhausting enough, and mind-blowing that after all that time they could still pull out brilliant shots. well done lads

  • kwk - 2010-06-24 08:29

    Lawn tennis for men is going to become extinct because it is reaching a point where breaking a serve is becoming impossible. Perhaps the net should be raised.

  • Paul - 2010-06-24 08:31

    This is brilliant, it probably won't happen again for another 100 yrs, i seriously hope they don't change the last set rule to a limit , that will change the game totally, it's about who wants to win the most now.

  • Teacher@John - 2010-06-24 09:05

    They said it's "the longest tennis match ever played", not that it's the longest tennis match that will ever be played, so they did actually use the English language correctly.

  • Snapper - 2010-06-24 09:10

    Kinda brings a different meaning to the umpire saying "40 all"

  • Kate - 2010-06-24 09:40

    It's beyond a joke. Sure there should be a limit to these sort of situations? Just about every other main stream sport has a limit of some sort. Last I checked tennis did not fall under the heading "Endurance Sport".

  • DeonL - 2010-06-24 10:30

    Wish we had this will to win in the T20 and soccer recently, but it was not to be! They won't change the rules of a decider set! This level of fitness is great, they probably will have more pains and aches than Comrades runners that runs for 10 to 11 hours!

  • katman - 2010-06-24 10:33

    This is amazing. They both reached a point where their serve is so well grooved that they hardly miss, yet they have no energy to chase down well-placed serves. So the longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to break the other guy. Which is why, after last night's break, they'll probably come back today and one of them will end it in 5 minutes.

  • Jaco - 2010-06-24 10:37

    @ Pieter Swart & some others - it's not a stunt, and drop the cynicism please. If you watched the match you'd have seen the guys chasing down shots and playing stunning winners all the way to the end (of the day). They were fighting out there, and as an ex-player, it was quite clear to me. All in all, a remarkable event - even if not good for tournament scheduling.

  • Jakezy - 2010-06-24 10:48

    I salute these two guys. I mean to focus for so long must certainly count for something. Both these guys gives Big Match Temperament a new meaning hey. Absolutely out of this world. Just a pity that the winner will probably loose in his next match, because he will be so tired hey. Atleast the loser in this match can say to the winner, "I have given you a real run for your money", lol. I also think they should re-write the final set rule, because this is for sure some sort of torture. But well done to both for braking records and writing their names in the history books. This record will stand for a very long time, if not forever.

  • glaudie - 2010-06-24 10:49

    Amazing!! It is mind boggling how two people, that were fairly unknown till now, that must be exhausted beyond believe, can show such determination and consistency when I'm sure the body has long surpassed the will to continue.

  • yoo! - 2010-06-24 11:02

    what about a DRAW? surely the rules should be changed to accomodate a DRAW in such occassions like it is in other sport codes. Draw and the share of points is a fare outcome for both players

  • Kas - 2010-06-24 11:50

    Common guys... This game was obviously the exception and not the rule! They shouldn't change the laws because of that... I think it's amazing! Always great to see such an exciting phenomenon in any sport... Well done!

  • schumi - 2010-06-24 12:02

    @ yoo!, You realy dont know any thing about tennis.

  • @Pieter - 2010-06-24 12:10

    Pieter you must a breath of fresh air to your family and friends hey?

  • katman - 2010-06-24 12:15

    yoo! - how do you "share the points" in a knock-out competition?

  • anon - 2010-06-24 12:16

    @ yoo - I don't think ANYONE wants to see a draw, least of all the players. To declare a draw after 118 games will be an absolute travesty of justice. They must be given time to rest and then eventually one will win. Win or lose, everyone will know who these players are, they both deserve any accolade and show that they are true sportsmen by displaying that sort of stamina.

  • Arch - 2010-06-24 12:51

    Now that requires some serious stamina, concentration, and fortitude. Astounding.

  • Craai - 2010-06-24 14:14

    @ yoo!. That must be the thickest statement I've read in a while.You don't watch a lot of tennis do you? This is a knockout tournament, you don't get awarded points for every match, if you lose you're out. Which player would you suggest goes through to the next round in the event of a "draw"?

  • tennis - 2010-06-24 14:35

    Some ppl here realy knw nothing abt tennis, a DRAW, this made me laugh.. gpy. Well for me I think these guys are not good returners, I tell you put Agassi(@ his peak) or federer or Nadal people who know how to handle big servers this game would have been way over, but this just shows these guys have big servers, but they are not good in reteurning or maybe a person is just preserving energy to put in some good serves and avoid being broke when serving, thats just my opnion.

  • Skiballas - 2010-06-24 15:23

    Watching tennis isn't boring! It is one of the more entertaining sports out there (although RUGBY IS KING). Torture is watching 90 minutes of football!!!!

  • panda - 2010-06-24 15:53

    HAHA! A draw?! How does that work in a knock-out tournament? Pffft ... Lets use some common sense chap. I think its incredible that this can go on for so long. Already its like playing an extra 8 or 9 sets. Its freakish... It could only happen on grass :P serve .... serve .... serve ... serve

  • wikki wikki - 2010-06-24 16:33

    Their stamina is amazing, yes. The only problem is that whom ever wins this match will surely not last much longer. They'd be spent! Although, I suppose there is quite a difference in prize money between just winning or losing this match. However, to be honest, I'd probably not have stayed if I were there in person. A few hours of tennis is enough. 10 hours? No way, Jose!

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