John Isner Wins Longest Professional Tennis Match in History

john_isnerAmerican John Isner defeated French Nicolas Mahut in the longest professional tennis match in history.

The game lasted for 11 hours and 5 minutes over a three-day period from June 22 to 24, 2010. The final score is 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7), 7–6(3), 70–68. It is a first round match at the ongoing Wimbledon 2010.

There’s no rest for Isner, so it seems. He will be facing his next opponent Thiemo de Bakker, Friday, June 25.

The match broke several other tennis records, including:

  • Longest match (11 hours, 5 minutes)
  • Longest set (the fifth set required 8 hours, 11 minutes)
  • Most games in a set (138 in the fifth set)
  • Most games in a match (183)
  • Most aces in a match by one player (Isner, 112)
  • Total aces in a match (Mahut’s 103 aces, the second highest number by a player in a match, brought the total to 215)

The fifth set alone is longer than the previous official and unofficial records. The previous official record is at 6 hours, 33 minutes during the 2004 French Open when Fabrice Santoro defeated Arnaud Clément 6–4, 6–3, 6–7(5), 3–6, 16–14. An unofficial record exists at 6 hours and 40 minutes set in February 25, 2009 when Chris Eaton defeated James Ward 6–3, 6–2, 6–7(3), 2–6, 21–19 in a playoff match to represent the United Kingdom in the Davis Cup.

The longest match in history, professional or non-professional, however, is a match between Eric Perkins and David Watkins, which lasted 36 hours, 36 minutes, and 36 seconds from May 3 to 4, 2010 at the Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. This match was a deliberate attempt at an endurance world record.