Isner wins longest match in history
John Isner won the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon on Thursday, which reduced Rafael Nadal's five-set win to a footnote and...
LONDON — John Isner won the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon on Thursday, which reduced Rafael Nadal's five-set win to a footnote and even dwarfed Andy Murray's success in front of Queen Elizabeth II.
Isner and French qualifier Nicolas Mahut played a 186-game epic across three days for 11 hours and 5 minutes on Court 18 until the American finally won 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68.
The final set alone lasted 8:11, far longer than the previously longest match (6:33 hours) as all the tennis records were smashed and the new marks probably will stand forever. Isner served 112 aces while Mahut fired 103.
So special was the moment that the All England Club organized a gift presentation from former champion Ann Jones and Tim Henman for both players — and long-suffering Swedish chair umpire Mohammed Lahyani, who also sat through the entire ordeal.
"I was tired," deadpanned Isner. "But when you come out and play a match like this in this atmosphere you don't feel tired — even though that's exactly what we both were.
"The crowd was fantastic. What more can I say, the guy's a warrior," Isner said of Mahut. "It's too bad someone had to lose.
"But I'm proud to share the day with Nicolas. It was an absolute honor. Maybe down the road we'll meet again — but it won't go 70-68."
Mahut later returned to the same court for a doubles match while Nadal labored on Center Court to a five-set win at Wimbledon for the fifth time in his career, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 over dangerous Dutchman Robin Haase.
Earlier, Murray turned in a right royal performance as he beat Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in front of the queen, who made her first visit to Wimbledon in 33 years.
"It's probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us," said the Scottish fourth seed. "The players who were there to meet her this morning, it was a big deal for everybody."
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