Isner – Mahut : The Numbers

Posted on 24 Jun, 2010, by in Tennis

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Here it is – 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68. Yes, this isn’t basketball. John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut as the two completed the longest match in Tennis history. Herculean, said John McEnroe. Farce, say others. Doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on, this was quite a physical feat by both men who need to take the rest of the year off. Here are some of the numbers, now in Wimbledon and tennis record books.

Longest tennis match in history665 Minutes, meaning 11 hours and 5 minutes, spread across three days of grueling tennis. I would have just started hitting double faults to get some rest and end it all, screw glory and professionalism. Maybe that’s why I was never good at pro sports.

Longest Set in history8 Hours! The second longest tennis match in history is Six hours, 33 minutes long, between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement in the 2004 French Open. The longest Wimbledon match before the Isner-Mahut Serve-Fest was between Greg Holmes and Todd Witsken in the 1989 tournament – 5 Hours and 28 minutes.

Most Games – 183 Games, 138 in the fifth set. The previous Wimbledon record, set in 1969, is 112 games.

Most Aces – John Isner hit 113, Nicolas Mahut 102. Both now top the most aces in a match record books, with Croatian giant behind them with a “pathetic” 78, set last year in a Davis Cup match. Karlovic also owned the ATP tour recrod, 55, from the 2009 French Open.

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One last thing – With all the romantic and nostalgic notions Wimbledon creates, this was a joke. The fifth set rule has got to change and join the rest of the tennis world, playing a regular tie-break game when it’s all on the line. Isner and Mahut will go down in the history books as gladiators who spent almost 12 hours of serving the %#@$ out of each other, but the scheduling problems a freak match like this creates and the effect it has on the player advancing are not welcome. Lets make this year the last one with a chance of such a thing happening. We can all tell our grandchildren, if they like tennis in the future (mine is a very distant one), that we watched two guys on the grass for 11 hours, and it’ll never happen again. I hope.