According to the calendar, the opening day of the Championships was the longest day of the year, as it was midsummer. But John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, along with everybody else watching their match on Court 18, might disagree. Records are meant to be broken but the 2 guys on court no 18 at the green lawns of Wimbledon had other plans. The didn’t just shatter the past record for the longest ever match to be played in Tennis history but went so far that it might take another 133 years (Wimbeldon began in 1877) to not break the record but dream of breaking it :D. You could say they are the modern day Gladiators – American JOHN ISNER(23) OF Tampa, Florida and NICOLAS MAHUT of France must have never thought that they would have to wait 3 days to see the result of their first round encounter.
They picked up their tennis racquets on the 22nd of June and managed to complete 4 sets before sunset stopped them for the first time. The two walked onto the court at 2.04pm on the 23rd to resume at 0-0 in the decisive fifth set; seven hours, six minutes later (longer than the previous longest ever match at Wimbledon), walked off, the match suspended due to poor light at 59-all. There were zero service breaks in the fifth set, which is why the end never arrived on Wednesday.The Queen would make her first visit to Wimbledon in 33 years as the longest tennis match on record entered its 11th hour on 24th June. Maybe that’s what these 2 players were waiting for :D..They needed that inspiration to go that extra mile to close this match.
At 58-all, both players took a bathroom break —Nobody could blame them? Not much later, shortly after 9 p.m., Mahut and Isner approached the net to discuss whether to keep going. Not many times do you feel bad for a umpire but surely this one such instance.The chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani, sitting in his perch long enough to have taken a trans-Atlantic flight, seemed to be tired. He tried to stay loose by massaging his neck or stretching his legs, and as the match dragged on. If there was ever a time when you needed a shirt sponsor then this was it..No wonder the players ran out of changes of shirts.
John Isner finally claimed victory, 70-68 to complete his first-round Wimbledon game score, 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68..Phew..After 11 hours and five absorbing minutes on court, John Isner wrote his name into the record books as the winner of the sport’s longest ever battle when the giant American finally clinched the epic three-day, 183-game thriller.
When you have such an epic battle many records are bound to be broken and here is a gist of all of them.
-> It is reasonable to say that it is the longest official tennis match in history 😀 (11hours and 5 minutes)
-> The unfinished 5th set(Eight hours, 11 minutes) alone surpasses the longest ever match played before this one. That match took six hours and 33 minutes. The shattered record was set at 2004 French Open, when Fabrice Santoro beat fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7, 3-6, 16-14.
-> Grass-court specialist Mahut and Isner beat the record for the most games(183) in a match, which had stood at 112 in singles and 122 in doubles. (The 5th set count is 138)
-> The record number of aces served by one player was also broken by both players. Isner has a whopping 112 aces as against Mahut’s 103. Previous best was 78 aces by Croatian Ivo Karlovic in a Davis Cup match in 2009.
-> They played 980 points (Mahut took 452 + , Isner 429 + ), 711 in the fifth set (315 + for Mahut, 297 + for Isner).
We can go on and on like this but for that the match has to end. Until now we thought IBM was doing a great job at the Wimbeldon but it was proved wrong today. Even a courtside electronic scoreboard couldn’t keep up, getting stuck at 47-47 when the score really had risen to 48-48, then eventually going dark entirely :D.
RECORDS TUMBLE AT ALL- ENGLAND CLUB
FINALLY A WINNER
Roger Federer : It’s unfortunate these guys are going to be a little bit tired tomorrow and the next day… and the next week… and the next month..This is absolutely amazing. In a way, I wish I was them, in some ways I wish I wasn’t them.
Venus Williams : It’s amazing. It’s a marathon – longer than a marathon. I don’t think I’d move – if you moved, you lose your seat! Around the grounds, there has to be a buzz around that this match is going so far.
Djokovic : Maybe they should agree on playing tie-break if it’s 50?all! Perhaps the referee’s office will implement a version of this new rule should we be in the same situation at 9pm on Thursday night, when the score stretches into three – or rather six – figures…
Roger Federer walked onto Court 1 for his second-round match against Ilija Bozoljac while Isner and Mahut were at 11-11 in the fifth. Fedex not playing on the Center court ; When did that last happen?? Way back in 2007 when he he played Juan Martin Del Potro on No.1 Court. No wonder he was not the center of attraction on Day 3 of Wimbledon. Isner and Mahut were the talk of the locker rooms. Federer won, showered, dressed and pushed back his news conference at least three times. In some ways, Federer said, he wished that he were Isner or Mahut. In other, more obvious ways, he did not. Nobody would want to lose this match after putting in a heroic effort already but unfortunately there had to be a loser and it was the 28 year old Mahut while 25 year old Isner must be thanking his stars. Although you have to give it to Mahut who had to fight an equally tough battle to qualify for Wimbledon( Mahut beat British number two Alex Bogdanovic 3-6, 6-3, 24-22.) He saved three match points. Who said the French don’t have passion, don’t have composure? Both are WINNERS in true sense :).
Isner after winning the epic battle : Nothing like this will ever happen again, ever…