Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Is The Game That Never Ends

Remember these two names: John Isner and Nicolas Mahut.

This US and French player are (still) playing the longest match ever in Wimbledon history. Like longest match ever. Like, I'm sorry, you're not listening to me. Like looooooooongest match evvveeerrr.

They played four sets on the first day, tied at two sets apiece, and the game had to be suspended due to failing light.

They then played the fifth set on the second day, and are now tied at 59-59. And the game was suspended for a second day due to failing light.


And they're still going.

These other remarkable facts that I had to borrow from here:

Among the other remarkable statistics from the match:

— It's the longest match in tennis history: 10 hours. The previous record was 6 hours, 33 minutes.
— Longest set in tennis history: 118 games.
— Most games in tennis history: 163 (previous record was 112).
— Both players broke the ATP record for most aces in a match. Isner had 98, Mahut hit 95. The previous record was 78. Combined, the two had 193 aces, more than double the old record of 96.
— Mahut had just three break points during the entire match.
— The first four sets took 2 hours, 54 minutes. The fifth set is at 7 hours, 6 minutes and counting.
— Mahut won 448 points to Isner's 428. Isner had more winners: 333 to 318.
— The final set is longer than the previous longest match in tennis history. That was 6 hours, 33 minutes.
— Isner had four match points, one at 11-10, two others at 33-32 and another at 59-58. The first and last match points came nearly six hours apart.
— At 50-50, Mahut had two break points and Isner promptly served a 134 mph ace.
— With Mahut serving at 52-53, the pair exchanged a 16-shot rally which ended with a Mahut forehand winner. It was the longest rally of the match. On the next point, Mahut dove for a backhand at the baseline following another long rally.
— The players took their first bathroom break at 58-58. While walking in the tunnel, they exchanged pleasantries, the first time they had spoken all evening.
— Mahut only qualified for Wimbledon after winning a qualifying match in a 24-22 final set.
— The match is almost two hours longer than the longest Major League Baseball game in history (an 8:06 game between the White Sox and Brewers in 1984).
— The scoreboard stopped working at 47-47.
We'll never see the likes of this again.

I remember watching the Andy Roddick and Younes el-Aynaoui match in the quarter-finals of the 2003 Australian Open with my Dad. The match was a minute short of five hours, after an epic fifth set.

We knew that we had seen something historic that night, as it was the longest tennis match of all time, at that time. At one point, Roddick gave his racquet over to the ball boys to take over and play, and el-Aynaoui followed suit, one of the classic "Awww..." moments in tennis.

That record was bested in the 2004 French Open by two Frenchmen, but it has now been obliterated by the ongoing match between Isner and Mahut.

And so if you can look away from the World Cup for just a little moment, and turn your TV station instead to one of the most momentous occasions in tennis history.


Raj Santhana said...

I was sooo tired watching this game!

mellowdramatic said...

Did you watch all three days? It would have been really funny and tedious... like watching all three Lord of the (Tennis) Rings in one sitting...