The 2010 Wimbledon marathon finally ended when John Isner hit a backhand that flew past an exhausted Nicolas Mahut, ending the 11-hour, 5-minute match in the American’s favor at — deep breath — 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68. The epic clash between Isner and Mahut was just a first round match! We now have the world’s longest official tennis match. This occured over a three day period of 22–24 June 2010. The fifth set was the longest set in history as determined by both duration and number of games (8 hours 11 minutes, 138 games); the set itself would have broken the duration (previous record: 6 hours 33 minutes) and number of games (previous record: 112 games (singles), 122 games (doubles)) records of whole matches.
Other records they broke –
- Most games in match ever: 183 games over three days
- Most games in a single day: The first 118 games of the fifth set of Mahut-Isner match, played on 23 June 2010
- Longest play in a single day: The first 118 games of the fifth set of the 2010 Mahut-Isner match were played on its second day—23 June and lasted 7 hours and 6 minutes.
- Mens – Longest singles match by time played and number of games: In 2010, John Isner took 183 games to defeat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68 in 11 hours and 5 minutes of play time in the first round.
No matter what John Isner and Nicolas Mahut accomplish moving forward, no matter tournaments won, wives married, divorced, or lives saved, they will be remembered more for one monumental match — the longest one recorded in professional tennis. One that started Tuesday, continued Wednesday, and ended Thursday after 182 games that lasted 11 hours 5 minutes.
“I got a little bit tired,” Isner said afterward, his sense of humor firmly intact. After deconstructing Jarkko Nieminen in front of Queen Elizabeth II on Centre Court, Andy Murray saw Isner and Mahut in the locker room. Isner looked normal, Murray said. But it was Mahut who warmed up by running on a treadmill, as if the 118 games on Wednesday had not sapped his strength. (Seriously, warming up?)
“The guy is an absolute warrior,” Isner said of Mahut. “This is something we’ll share forever.” When Isner left Wednesday night, he said he felt as if the match had become a dream, and he expected to wake Thursday to reality. Instead, he resumed the longest match in tennis history, a dream in its own right, and won it.
I doubt this will ever br broken in the next 20 years.