Tennis like many other sports is not time bound. In order to win, you need to win a specified number of sets irrespective of the time. Most matches hover around the 2-3 hour mark, and you rarely get to see matches which stretch to 4 hours or beyond. One can only imagine the physical and mental excursion the players are made to go through in these kind of marathon matches. More often than not, these long matches become less about shot-making and skills, and more about the players’ physical, mental endurance. The player who emerges victorious is the one who could push himself a little harder.
Such matches are truly inspirational, especially for young and aspiring tennis players, giving them the motivation to excel and work harder, never knowing what might be enough.
Let us now look at some of the longest tennis matches ever played, which have been etched into tennis history due to sheer brilliance of the players competing in them-
John Isner def. Nicolas Mahut ,2010 (11h 5m)-
This unusual first round match-up in Wimbledon has gone down as the longest match ever in the history of tennis and has been immortalised at Wimbledon itself, with a plaque commemorating the three- day struggle. It was the perfect combination. Isner, with his large, lumbering serve and Mahut’s quick return game made them polar opposites to each other. One’s weakness was the other’s strength. After lasting two days, everybody stopped to see when, and if, the match would ever end. After three days’ worth of Grand Slam tennis, Isner collapsed on the ground, all energy drained out from his body. He had just won the longest tennis match of all time, 70-68, in the fifth set. Even though the scoreboard showed Isner as the winner, it would be unfair to say that Mahut lost in this superhuman match, which has certainly pushed the boundaries of physical stamina and grit.
Here is a video of the last game of the most grueling match-