Breaking Records: Exploring Tennis's Lengthiest Match

Longest Matches in Tennis History

Tennis, a sport known for its strategic plays and swift matches, witnessed an unprecedented event in 2010 at Wimbledon. The duel between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut not only etched their names in history but also set a record for the longest tennis match ever played—lasting an astonishing 11 hours and 5 minutes. In this article, we delve into the details of this epic showdown, exploring the rankings of the longest matches in tennis and the remarkable records shattered by Isner and Mahut.


The Longest Matches in Tennis History

Before delving into the Isner-Mahut saga, let’s glance at the top ten longest matches in tennis history. The list includes some familiar names and unforgettable encounters that captivated tennis enthusiasts worldwide.

  1. Wimbledon 2010, Isner-Mahut: 11 hours and 5 minutes
  2. Davis Cup 2015, Souza-Mayer: 6 hours and 43 minutes
  3. Wimbledon 2018, Anderson-Isner: 6 hours and 36 minutes
  4. Roland Garros 2004, Santoro-Clement: 6 hours and 33 minutes
  5. Davis Cup 1982, McEnroe-Wilander: 6 hours and 22 minutes
  6. Davis Cup 1987, Becker-McEnroe: 6 hours and 21 minutes
  7. Davis Cup 1980, Clerc-McEnroe: 6 hours 15 minutes
  8. Roland Garros 2020, Giustino-Moutet: 6 hours and 5 minutes
  9. Davis Cup 1989, Skoff-Wilander: 6 hours and 4 minutes
  10. Davis Cup 1982, Fritz-Andrew: 6 hours and 1 minute

Isner vs. Mahut: A Grass Court Odyssey

The iconic Wimbledon clash in 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut unfolded on court 18, creating ripples in the tennis world. Isner faced off against the French underdog, Mahut, in a match that defied all expectations.


The Battle Begins

Commencing at 6:18 pm on June 22, 2010, the match progressed like any other, with Mahut leading 2-1 after three sets. However, Inser’s comeback in the fourth set set the stage for an extraordinary saga. Notably, there was no tie-break in the fifth set during that time, extending the suspense until one player secured a two-game lead.

The match took an unexpected turn on the second day when, due to darkness, the referee Mohamed Lahyani suspended the game with a tied score of 2-2. The pivotal fifth set would resume the following day, adding to the anticipation and drama.


A Historic Day: June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010, witnessed a historic tennis marathon as Isner and Mahut battled relentlessly. The spotlight on court 18 intensified as the match surpassed all expectations. By 4:57 pm, it became the match with the most singles games ever, standing at 25-24 for Isner. As the games progressed, the record for the longest match was shattered at 5:44 pm, and yet the intensity continued.

The legendary match persisted until 9:10 pm, with the score tied at an astonishing 59-59. Once again, darkness forced the suspension of the match, pushing the resolution to the following day.


The Grand Finale: June 24, 2010

After 67 minutes of play spread over three days, the marathon concluded with Isner emerging victorious at 70-68. A plaque on Wimbledon’s court 18 commemorates this unparalleled match, celebrating the endurance and skill displayed by both players.

The following year, Isner and Mahut faced each other again at Wimbledon, but the rematch concluded in a relatively swift 2 hours and 12 minutes, with Isner securing a 3-0 victory.


Records Tumbling Down

The Isner-Mahut clash not only secured its place in history as the longest tennis match but also broke several records:

  • Most aces in history: 216 (113 Isner, 103 Mahut)
  • Most games in history: 183
  • Longest set in history: 8 hours and 11 minutes
  • Highest-scoring set: 138 games

In conclusion, the Isner vs. Mahut clash of 2010 transcended the realm of sports, becoming a saga etched in tennis history. The records, the suspense, and the sheer endurance displayed by the athletes ensure that this epic Wimbledon encounter remains a timeless tale in the world of tennis.