Longest Wimbledon match ends after 11hrs 5mins

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The Independent Online

The longest game in tennis history came to end today as American 23rd seed John Isner beat France's Nicolas Mahut 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68 in the first round at Wimbledon - after more than 11 hours and 5 minutes play.

After 11 hours and five minutes on Court 18 and with a raft of records having been broken, 23rd seed Isner found two crucial winners to break the resistance of the Frenchman in the 138th game of a remarkable set.

The pair first walked on court on Tuesday, and Isner - who hit 112 aces in the match - secured a 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7/9) 7-6 (7/3) 70-68 triumph to bring the curtain down on one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the All England Club.

Speaking afterwards, Mahut said: "We played the greatest match ever at the greatest place to play tennis."

Isner insisted he was not feeling tired, saying: "You don't feel tired out here today this crowd was fantastic."

He said his opponent was an "absolute warrior".

The pair were clapped and cheered as they walked back slowly to the locker room. Mahut was forced to lean on his coach for support.



After 11 hours and five minutes on Court 18 and with a raft of records having been broken, Isner found two crucial winners to clinch victory.



Isner, who hit 112 aces in the match to bring the curtain down on one of the most remarkable episodes at SW19, was then facing the possibility of playing in a scheduled doubles match later tonight.



James Marks, 20, from Clapham, south London, said: "What a game, what a moment. I don't think Murray winning Wimbledon could beat this in terms of history."

The pair were presented with crystal bowls and champagne by the All England Club.



Andy Murray, who breezed through his first round clash in front of the Queen earlier today, was quick to pay tribute to them.



He said: "Like everybody has been saying, it will never happen again - unless they play next year maybe.



"What they did last night was incredible. And I saw Isner before the match in the locker room. He looked ok.



"I'm sure physically it would have been incredibly difficult, but mentally to concentrate for that long must be so tough.



"But apparently Mahut was on the treadmill warming up before the match and seemed fine."



Maria Sharapova agreed the match had lifted the sport but felt a rule change could happen.



The Russian, who also moved into the third round today, said: "It's amazing what they've done. I'd be checking myself into the local hospital at that point.



"They've created some crazy news around the world. Even for people that don't have any interest in tennis, I think they read about it and see it and think how amazing it is. It's wonderful for our sport.



"I think at this point maybe the rules will be changed - at a certain point you're going to have to play a tie-breaker."

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