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The 11-hour tennis match the world never forgets about

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longest tennis match in history
Nicolas Mahut vs John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010. Photo/ATP Tour
  • A lengthy match gets onto everyone including the crowd who start to despair quickly
  • The enthusiasm projected early in the game seems to wear thin as the match continue
  • The contest, which started on June 22, lasted an astounding 11 hours, 5 minutes

When Carlos Alcaraz played Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon 2023 finals for hours, it looked like the longest tennis match in history but it isn’t.

Usually, a lengthy match gets onto everyone including the crowd who start to despair quickly. The enthusiasm projected early in the game seems to wear thin and as the game drags on, impatience slowly creeps in. This is one of the reasons behind the agitation witnessed severally among fans.

WHAT IS THE LONGEST GAME IN TENNIS HISTORY?

American tennis player John Isner and French man Nicolas Mahut made their 2010 Wimbledon match the longest tennis match in history. Isner and Mahut sparked a protracted match that would go down in history as the grass courts of Wimbledon basked in the summer heat. The contest, which started on June 22, lasted an astounding 11 hours, five minutes over the course of three days.

longest tennis history

Nicolas Mahut vs John Isner at Wimbledon in 2010. Photo/ATP Tour

The raw stats were staggering: 183 games, 980 points, and an incredible final set that went in Isner’s favour by a score of 70-68. Both players fought valiantly until they were exhausted both physically and mentally. The audience, enthralled by the drama playing out, could hardly believe what was happening.

Both players resisted defeat, exhaustion and tenacity started to converge but a final standing ovation reflected their amazing achievement as the match ended. Isner won this match but Mahut also made special history by displaying his sportsmanship spirit and unwavering drive to win.

WHAT IS THE LONGEST MEN’S TENNIS MATCH IN ONE DAY?

Nicolas Mahut vs John Isner match remains the longest tennis match in history and in one day going for nearly four hours in three days. This was in the summer of 2010 and Isner of the US was only obsessed with beating his French rival Mahut in the Sweltering heat of London.

As soon as the match started, Wimbledon’s serene courts witnessed an unparalleled spectacle as Isner took on Mahut in a Herculean tennis battle. Their marathon match stretched across three unforgettable days, setting records and pushing the boundaries of human endurance.

With each powerful serve and relentless return, Isner and Mahut etched their names into history. The match, which began on June 22, unfolded as an epic of grit and determination, with the final set alone spanning an astonishing 8 hours and 11 minutes. As the hours turned into a relentless blur, both players displayed unfaltering commitment, battling exhaustion and fatigue.

In the aftermath of this grueling contest, Isner remarked said that the only thing he longed for was some good sleep.

“I just feel like going to sleep right now and waking up on Wednesday,” he said.

Mahut on his part was excited about the three-day duel despite losing to Isner saying that he loved every bit of it because it is part of tennis history.

“We’ll be sharing that record for the rest of our lives,” Mahut stated.

Their camaraderie and sportsmanship shone as brightly as their exceptional athleticism. Tennis pundits around the world marvelled at this display of resilience. Commentators hailed it as a testament to the sport’s unwavering spirit, with some suggesting that tennis would never witness a feat quite like it again. The match concluded with a 70-68 victory for Isner in the fifth set, a scoreline as unfathomable as the match itself.

Longest tennis match

The Longest tennis match in history. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Isner vs. Mahut, Wimbledon 2010, became a tale for the ages—a tale of boundless determination and an emblem of the relentless pursuit of victory etched in the record books forever.

WHAT IS THE LONGEST RUNNING TENNIS TOURNAMENT?

Wimbledon is the longest-running tennis tournament besides hosting the longest tennis match in history in 2010. Wimbledon, a grass court event is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments in tennis, along with the Australian Open, the French Open (Roland Garros), and the US Open.

It traces its debut to 1877 and has been played annually ever since, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. The tournament takes place at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London, and is known for its grass courts and longstanding traditions.

Throughout its history, Wimbledon has become a prestigious event in the tennis calendar, drawing players and spectators from around the globe. The tournament’s rich history, tradition, and the aura of playing on the historic grass courts make it a unique and celebrated event in the world of sports.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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