Isner Wins Longest Wimbledon Match

Thursday, June 24, 2010

After three days, and 11 hours and 5 minutes of play, John Isner hit a backhand up the line Thursday to defeat Nicolas Mahut in the fifth set, 70-68.

The first-round marathon lasted so long it was suspended because of darknessfor two nights in a row. Play resumed Thursday at 59-all before an overflow crowd and continued for 20 games and 65 minutes.

John Isner collapsed on the Wimbledon lawn after winning the longest match in tennis history, and then summoned one last burst of energy, to spring to his feet and give his opponent a huge hug. 

The match's first-round marathon lasted so long it was suspended because of darkness for two nights in a row. Play resumed Thursday at 59-all before an overflow crowd on cozy Court 18 and continued for 20 games and 65 minutes before Isner won.

"When you come out and play a match like this, in an atmosphere like this, you don't feel tired really out there," Isner told the Associated Press, "even though that's exactly what we both were."

The match lasted so long because neither player could break serve. Isner finished with 112 aces and Mahut had 103, with both totals eclipsing the sport's previous high of 78. They combined to hold for 168 games in a row.
 
Queen Elizabeth II, who had already departed the All England Club following her first visit to Wimbledon since 1977, missed the end of the game. She watched Briton Andy Murray win his match on Centre Court.

Other wins at Wimbledon included top-ranked Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, who both advanced to the third round. Nadal won all 20 points on his serve in the final set and improved to 13-3 in five-set matches against Robin Haase. Williams won the first 11 games and beat Anna Chakvetadze 6-0, 6-1 in 48 minutes.

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