Longest Tennis matches of all time

Revisiting the Longest Tennis Match of All Time

Tennis is a challenging sport. It is a contest of talent, cunning, and accuracy. The game continues until one player scores the required number of points or until a player quits or retires in the middle of the court due to injury or exhaustion and is unable to continue. This is the precise reason why games that last a long time are so appealing.

The audience is kept on the edge of their seats by it. Exactly this is what happened on January 30, 2022, when Rafael Nadal, one of the greatest players of all time, defeated Daniil Medvedev at the Australian Open 2022. The 5 hours, 24-minute final was won by the Spaniard. In addition, it allowed Nadal to surpass players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic by becoming the first tennis player to win 21 Grand Slam titles. Despite this, the match isn’t anywhere close to being the longest tennis match ever played. 

However, the longest tennis match took place in 2010, which lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes. It was played between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon. The match began on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 and lasted until Friday of the same week. During this time, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played 183 games in total. The match’s final score was 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), and 70-68 for Isner. 

Both players endured considerable physical and mental exhaustion during the match to reach this point, with Isner serving a total of 112 aces and Mahut 103. It was described as the greatest in tennis history by commentators and analysts alike. 

The longest Tennis match of all time: 

John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut: 2010 Wimbledon (11 hours and 5 minutes) 

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut broke several records during their match. Most notably, the match was the longest tennis match ever to be played in terms of time, lasting 11 hours and 5 minutes. It was also the match with the highest number of total games played (183) and the longest set (the fifth set lasted 70-68). The match also saw both players serve the most aces in a single match; Isner served 112 aces, while Mahut served 103. 

John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut

John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut

In total, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut served 215 aces during their 11-hour and 5-minute match at Wimbledon. The longest tennis match before the Isner-Mahut match was the men’s singles final at the 2004 French Open between Gaston Gaudio and Guillermo Coria. The match lasted six hours and 33 minutes, with Coria eventually winning 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, and 8-6. 

Many people have praised the Isner-Mahut match for its remarkable display of skill and determination. Legendary tennis player Björn Borg referred to it as “a milestone in modern tennis”. Commentator John McEnroe lauded the match as “a great benefit for the world of tennis”, while American television personality Jimmy Kimmel described it as “an epic moment in sports history”. 

The men’s singles championship of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships was won by Rafael Nadal, who defeated Tomas Berdych in straight sets. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut both spoke about the match with great respect for their opponent. Isner said that he was “very proud to have been part of such an amazing occasion, ” while Mahut commented, “it was truly a special match, and I will never forget it.” 

John Isner said, “It was an honour to be part of such an incredible match, and I’m very proud to have been part of it. I wish the match could have gone on forever.”

Nicolas Mahut commented, “It was truly a special match, and I will never forget it. I’m lucky to have been part of history and I am sure it will remain a legendary moment in tennis.” 

Here are some interesting facts about the Isner-Mahut match 

– The match had a combined total of 909 points 

– The longest rally between the two players spanned 36 shots 

– Isner’s longest service game lasted over 40 minutes 

– The match was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the longest tennis match ever played 

– Isner and Mahut were given a standing ovation when they completed the fifth set – It was the first time Wimbledon had to suspend play due to darkness 

– The match saw 205,000 people watched it live on the BBC website 

– It was the second-most viewed match at Wimbledon that year, behind the men’s singles final between Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych 

– It was the first time Wimbledon had to suspend play due to darkness 


What Tennis players had to say about the Isner-Mahut match: 

“The Isner-Mahut match was an extraordinary display of courage and endurance that will be remembered as one of the greatest sporting events of all time.” – Roger Federer 

“John Isner and Nicolas Mahut’s match at Wimbledon in 2010 was a remarkable display of human achievement and resilience.” – Novak Djokovic 

“What Isner and Mahut did at Wimbledon in 2010 was nothing short of incredible. They pushed tennis to its limits and showed us what it means to never give up.” – Andy Murray 

“The Isner-Mahut match was an incredible show of willpower, tenacity, and determination.” – Rafael Nadal 

“No other tennis match has made such an impression on me as the Isner-Mahut match. It was one of the most remarkable displays of endurance and sportsmanship that I have ever seen.” – Serena Williams 

“The Isner-Mahut epic produced a record that may never be broken and will live on in the annals of the greatest sporting moments of all time.” – Andy Roddick

Top 10 longest tennis matches of all time: 

  1. John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut – 2010 Wimbledon (11 hours and 5 minutes)
  2.  Fabrice Santoro vs Arnaud Clement – 2004 French Open (6 hours and 33 minutes)
  3.  Younes El Aynaoui vs. Andy Roddick – 2003 Australian Open (5 hours and 22 minutes)
  4.  Kevin Anderson vs. John Isner – 2018 Wimbledon (6 hours and 36 minutes)
  5.  Novak Djokovic vs. Juan Martín del Potro – 2013 US Open (5 hours and 53 minutes)
  6.  Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal – 2008 Wimbledon (4 hours and 48 minutes)
  7.  Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal – 2012 Australian Open (5 hours and 53 minutes)
  8.  Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic – 2012 US Open (4 hours and 54 minutes)
  9.  Michael Chang vs. Ivan Lendl – 1989 French Open (4 hours and 37 minutes)
  10.  Gilles Muller vs. Rafael Nadal – 2017 Wimbledon (4 hours and 48 minutes).
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