7+ — Make That 8 — Make That NINE — Make that TEN Hour Wimbledon Match

Ken AshfordRed Sox & Other SportsLeave a Comment


John Isner of Tampa, Fla., and Nicolas Mahut of France are playing what already is the longest match on record in tennis history.

Their first-round match at Wimbledon has lasted more than 7½ hours – breaking the record of 6 hours, 33 minutes set in a 2004 French Open match.

Isner and Mahut have played more than 90 games in the fifth set alone. They resumed playing Wednesday at the start of the fifth set; the match was suspended because of darkness Tuesday night after four sets.

As I write this, they are up to 106(!) games in the fifth set.  The NYT is live-blogging it.

Normally, when players tie a set, they go into a tiebreaker, where you have to win by two POINTS.  Unfortunately, tiebreakers don't apply to the fifth (and final) set, where you have to win by two GAMES.  And they're just basically trading games.

UPDATE – 3:50 pm EST:  115 games now.  Isner 58, Mahut 57.  Mahut's service….

UPDATE – 4:08 pm EST:  The fifth set is no longer than any MATCH that has ever taken place in professional tennis.  It's 59-59.  It's getting dark as other tournament games are coming to a conclusion.

UPDATE – 4:15 pm EST:  From the Wimbledon blog:

“We want more”  Mahut and Isner are discussing whether to continue and the crowd are chanting: “We want more”. But it looks like they are going off. And they are. What a shame but this match will enter a third day. Incredible. They are getting the loudest standing ovation I’ve ever heard.

ESPN reports: "They have been playing for a total of exactly 10 hours — 7 hours, 6 minutes in the fifth set alone, enough to break the full-match record of 6:33, set at the 2004 French Open."

Mahut, exhausted, from earlier today