A day-long, record setting, marathon match (and it’s still not over)

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

How many people can say they were alerted to an amazing sporting event by formula 1 driver Mark Webber? But that’s what happened me today. After watching the less than captivating England v Slovenia World Cup game, I logged onto twitter at about 5:30 to see a tweet from Webber about a match at Wimbledon which was 35 games all in the fifth set. Assuming that this was some sort of typo, I put on BBC2 to see John Isner 36-35 up on Nicolas Mahout by the time I got there. It turns out that the match had started yesterday and got to two sets all before finishing for the night and was 3 and a half hours into the final set.

Thinking that this would fill in some of the gap to the Germany v Ghana game, I kept watching. It went 40-40, 45-45, 48-48, and I went to watch the first half of the German match. At half time, back to BBC2 and now it’s 53-52 to Isner and the match has reached the 9-hour mark. Both players are exhausted but Isner is completely out on his feet. It can’t go on much longer so I decide to forego some of the last 45 minutes of the day’s football to watch history being made on Wimbledon’s Court 18. As it happened, I only caught the last 5 minutes of the football as the match went all the way to 59-59 and 10 hours in total when it was called for light after Mahout had saved a match point.

That that was the only break point I saw in the 30 or so games I watched says a lot for the quality of both players’ serves (and how tired they were when trying to return). Who knows how far it will go tomorrow but I suspect that it will end much more quickly tomorrow now that the rhythm of holding serve has been broken than it would have tonight. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if ends in two games tomorrow.

But enough of my tennis analysis, what you’re here for are comparisions to other ludicrously long sports events:

Longest snooker match 14 hours, 50 minutes Dennis Taylor v Steve Davis 1985
Amount of playing time for world cup finalists 10 hours, 30 minutes
Longest tennis match 10 hours+ John Isner v Nicolas Mahout 2010
Longest baseball game 8 hours, 25 minutes Pawtucket Red Sox v Rochester Red Wings 1981
Longest Major League baseball game 8 hours, 6 minutes Chicago White sox v Milwaukee Brewers 1984
Longest boxing match 7 hours, 19 minutes Andy Bowen and Jack Burke 1893

Of course, the match has broken plenty of tennis records too:

New
record
Old
record
Aces 98 John Isner
94 Nicolas Mahout
78 Ivan Karlovic
Match length (time) 10 hours+
John Isner v Nicolas Mahout
2010
06 hours, 33 minutes
Fabrice Santoro beat Arnaud Clément
2004
Match length (games) 163 games
John Isner v Nicolas Mahout
6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 59-59
2010
112 games
Pancho Gonzales beat Charlie Pasarell
22–24, 1–6, 16–14, 6–3, 11–9
1969

One Response to “A day-long, record setting, marathon match (and it’s still not over)”

  1. [...] and coming off the back of a win against Federer. If Isner can avoid crippling himself in matches that stretch over two days he could do well in Indian Wells and he should be looking towards Wimbledon and battering his way [...]

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