Patt Morrison for June 24, 2010

The tennis game that won’t end: Wimbledon’s marathon match

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Hamish Blair/Getty Images

The Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut is the longest tennis match ever played coming it at over 10 hours of play time.

And we thought only World Cup soccer games lasted this long—or at least it often feels that way. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut are not necessarily household names on the international tennis circuit, but even if they do nothing else in their careers they will make history over the course of three days and at least 10 hours on the tennis court: they are in the midst of playing the longest tennis game ever, as they enter Thursday’s third installment of their match at Wimbledon tied 59-59 in the final set. The net on Wimbledon Court 18 broke at one point, then the scoreboard conked out, but Isner and Mahut continued to play on. As play was suspended Wednesday night the two men had served up nearly 100 aces a piece and are guaranteed to far surpass the next longest game, which was at 6-hours, 33-minutes during the 2004 French Open. How much longer will the epic tennis battle rage on?


Xan Brooks, associate editor & sports blogger at The Guardian, covering Wimbledon

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