The Longest Tennis Match Ever


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When John Isner finally won the longest match in tennis history, he collapsed on the Wimbledon grass and then summoned one last burst of energy, springing to his feet to applaud along with the crowd. The American hit a backhand winner to win the last of the match's 980 points, and he took the fifth set Thursday against Nicolas Mahut, 70-68. The first-round match took 11 hours, 5 minutes over three days, lasting so long it was suspended because of darkness - two nights in a row. Play resumed Thursday at 59-all and continued for more than an hour before Isner won 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. The American finished with 112 aces, and Mahut had 103, with both totals eclipsing the previous high of 78. There were only three service breaks in the match, the last coming on the final point. They broke almost all tennis records. But there is one record that the two never even came close to challenging. The record for the longest rally in professional tennis was set Sept. 24, 1984, at a Virginia Slims tournament in Richmond, Va., when Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner had an unbelievable 643-shot point that lasted 29 minutes.