Marathon tennis match ends

2010-06-24 18:00

London - John Isner won the longest tennis match on record on Thursday by beating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set of their epic first-round encounter at Wimbledon.

Picking up at 59-59 in the fifth set, the match continued on serve with no break points until the American hit a backhand passing shot past the Frenchman in the 138th game of the set to finish the contest in front of a packed crowd on Court 18.

The amazing final score read: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3) 70-68.

Isner finished with a total of 112 aces and Mahut 103.

The first-round match lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes, over three days. The fifth set alone lasted 8 hours, 11 minutes.

Isner fell onto his back after winning the final point. After getting up, he tossed his racket to the ground and pointed at Mahut and clapped in recognition of their historic struggle.

Isner said it was "an honour" to play the match. Mahut called it the "greatest match ever."

Player Statistics: Mahut Isner, John Isner

1st Serve %: 67, 74
Aces: 103, 112
Double Faults: 21, 10
Unforced Errors: 39, 52
Winning % on 1st Serve: 284 of 328 = 87%, 292 of 361 = 81%
Winning % on 2nd Serve: 101 of 161 = 63%, 82 of 130 = 63%
Winners (Including Service): 244, 246
Receiving Points Won: 117 of 501 = 23%, 104 of 510 = 20%
Break Point Conversions: 1 of 3 = 33%, 2 of 14 = 14%
Net Approaches: 111 of 155 = 72%, 97 of 144 = 67%
Total Points Won: 502, 478
Fastest Serve Speed: 128 MPH, 143 MPH
Average 1st Serve Speed: 118 MPH, 123 MPH
Average 2nd Serve Speed: 101 MPH, 112 MPH


Longest known tennis matches:

11 hours, 5 minutes - John Isner def. Nicolas Mahut, 2010 Wimbledon 1R
6:33 - Fabrice Santoro def. Arnaud Clement, 2004 French Open 1R
6:22 - John McEnroe def. Mats Wilander, 1982 Davis Cup, World Group QF
6:21 - Boris Becker def. John McEnroe, 1987 Davis Cup, World Group Playoff
6:04 - Horst Skoff def. Mats Wilander, 1989 Davis Cup, World Group QF
5:59 - Radek Stepanek def. Ivo Karlovic, 2009 Davis Cup, World Group SF
5:46 - Arnaud Clement def. Marc Rosset, 2001 Davis Cup, World Group QF
5:45 - Mehdi Tahiri def. Gilles Muller, 2005 Davis Cup, Europe/Africa Zone 1R Playoff
5:31 - Alex Corretja def. Hernan Gumy, 1998 French Open 3R
5:28 - Greg Holmes def. Todd Witsken, 1989 Wimbledon 2R

Previous longest singles match, games:
112 - Pancho Gonzales def. Charlie Pasarell, 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9 (1969 Wimbledon 1R)

Previous longest doubles match, games:
122 - Stan Smith and Erik Van Dillen def. Patricio Cornejo and Jaime Fillol, 7-9, 37-39, 8-6, 6-1, 6-3 (1973 Davis Cup, United States vs. Chile, American Zone final)

Previous longest fifth set in Grand Slam men's singles: 21-19 - Andy Roddick def. Younes El Aynaoui, 4-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 21-19 (2003 Australian Open QF)

Previous longest fifth set in Wimbledon men's singles: 20-18 - Mark Philippoussis def. Sjeng Schalken, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, 20-18 (2000 Wimbledon 3R)

Previous longest men's singles set at a Grand Slam: 25-23 - John Newcombe def. Marty Riessen, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 25-23 (1969 US Open R16)


  • MC - 2010-06-24 18:14

    And I missed it!! Quickly checked what was going on with Italy, and I missed the last game!!!

  • Craig Son - 2010-06-24 18:29

    This wonderful display of showmanship, class, and determination is a testament to the gentleman's game that is tennis.

  • JF - 2010-06-24 18:52

    Think it is quite ridiculous that it was allowed to go on for so long! Hopefully the organisers will have learnt something from this and prevent it happening again. What about setting a target of something like 20 all and then enforce a tie breaker. I really feel that was unfair on the players, the umpire and spectators.

  • Nicky G - 2010-06-24 19:39

    While this match certainly was a testament to great sportmanship and fighting spirit, let's hope something like this does not happen again. A fifth-set tiebreak should be the standard in ALL tournaments. Those poor guys are going to take a long time to recover from this - good luck to them both!

  • Fred - 2010-06-24 19:53

    Why does someone always have to complain. Don't you realize this is history in the making. An epic battle between two incredible humans who have spent their life being the best at what they do in order to entertain people like us. Hats off to those two formidable sports men. If only other sports men who are in the limelight representing themselves and their countries would play with such passion (take the french football team for example) then we wouldn't have to be so irritated at them for losing. I wish all sports competitions would be as gripping as this tennis match was. To all professional sportsmen/women out their, take John and Nicolas' fighting spirit as an example....

  • top top notch - 2010-06-25 01:47

    An absolutely awesome, admirable display. History unfolds in front of our eyes, yet some will, of course, complain! The resumption of the final set lasted a further 20 games! When you look at the match stats they confirm tennis of the highest order.

  • JM - 2010-06-25 06:30

    Was wondering, looking at John McEnroe, what tantrums, antics he would have got up to if he had been in this game. Think I'll make a short movie. :-) John and Nicolas, true sporting gentlemen.. My wife said watch Nando's come up with something, or perhaps viagra... Great game guys!!!

  • Knersus - 2010-06-25 07:29

    I agree with Fred. For peets sake @JF and @Nicky, this is what sport is about! Get a life. Anyways, well done to these players, it is almost unthinkable that they could last so long but just shows you the fitness and fighting spirit of these players. Awesome!!! :)

  • Carey - 2010-06-25 07:49

    @JF The players could have stopped it any time they wanted. All they had to do was to stop fighting, but they didn't. In fact, after the match both recommended that nothing should be changed. When I saw the umpire, it looked like it took all he had not to laugh every time he announced the score. He seemed to be having fun. As for the spectators - I think the only thing that was unfair to the spectators was that there weren't more seats availlable. Pity they couldn't move the match to centre-court. It would have been packed withing minutes of such an announcement. It was rediculous - rediculously awesome! I hope they don't change a thing.

  • AJ - 2010-06-25 07:56

    It was good from a novelty factor, but in reality it causes havoc for the tournament schedule as well as for the winner's next round game. I would think a limit will soon be set after which a traditional tiebreaker would come into play With stronger and stronger service games these days there is more chance that a 5 setter will start taking very long to complete, so something should be changed.

  • Mark - 2010-06-25 10:16


  • pages:
  • 1