10 Years Ago: The Wimbledon Marathon [VIDEO]
All records are meant to be broken, but here's one that may never be.
On June 24, 2010, American John Isner defeated French qualifier Nicolas Mahut in the longest tennis match ever played. The first-round, five-set epic at The Championships, Wimbledon lasted 11 hours, five minutes over a span of three days. The match -- suspended by darkness two nights in row -- featured 183 games and 980 total points.
The 23rd-seeded Isner hit a backhand shot down the sideline to win the fifth set, 70-68, which took longer to play than any other tennis match in history -- lasting 8 hours, 11 minutes. The previous longest-match record was 6 hours, 33 minutes.
Along with the time it took to play the match, several other records were broken during the grass court marathon. According to ESPN, those records included:
- Most Games In Set: 138
- Most Games In Match: 183
- Most Combined Aces: 215
- Most Individual Aces: 112 (Isner)
Isner won 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68, his first career triumph at the All England Club. ESPN listed one other stat from the match. Despite losing, Mahut had the edge over Isner in total points won, 502-478.
As indicated by the statistics, the Isner-Mahut match played a decade ago remains the longest in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. It will likely remain at the top of the record book, thanks to a change in scoring since then.
The French Open is now the only major being played in which the final set isn't decided until one person wins by two games.