After competing in the longest match in tennis history – a marathon contest of 163 games -- John Isner is still standing ... barely. Isner, who is committed to playing in the Atlanta Tennis Championships, was locked in a first-round match at Wimbledon with Frenchman Nicolas Mahut when darkness stopped play for the second straight day. The Atlanta event, owned and operated by USTA Southern, will serve as the kick-off to the 2010 Olympus US Open Series.
The match was called at 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 59-59. (Isner was the winner of the first set.) With every passing minute the seemingly timeless match sets the record for time on court. When play was called Wednesday they had battled for exactly 10 hours, seven hours and six minutes in the fifth set today. The previous match record was 6 hours and 33 minutes. The 118 games in the fifth set eclipses the longest match ever played at Wimbledon of 112 games.
Isner and Nicolas Mahut won the Best Record Breaking Performance ESPY for the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon. Isner accepted the award in the ESPN's annual star-studded awards show.
The former All-American, who grew up in Greensboro, N.C., led the Georgia Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA Division-1 Championship. He won the doubles crown in 2005.
Both players have surpassed the Open Era record for aces in a match, with Isner standing at 98 and Mahut at 94, according to Wimbledon’s web site. Isner has lost all four match points he has held while Mahut has had none.
The first four sets were played on Tuesday before Wednesday’s historic fifth set. The weary combatants are scheduled to resume tomorrow.
Isner should be pleased about playing in Atlanta ... all sets will end in tiebreaks!