A True Endurance Match

At 11 hours and 5 minutes, John Isner and Nicholas Mahut concluded the longest match in tennis history.  They beat the old record by more than 5 hours.  The match had originally begun on Tuesday, June 22, and was suspended twice due to darkness before ending on Thursday morning.  The 5th set alone took 8 hours and finished with a score of 70 to 68 in favor of the American victor, John Isner.

After the match ended with the 6 foot 9 inch tall Isner getting a blazing backhander past Mahut, Isner dropped to his knees, victorious, but notably exhausted.  Immediately following the match, the judges and the two players were awarded special gifts that were presented in wooden boxes.  The players looked as if they were struggling to hold them. 

When asked for a comment about his opponent, Isner simply said, “What more can you say? To share this day was an absolute honor.”  Mahut, though defeated, said to a reporter, “At this moment, it is just really painful.  Thanks to you guys, you were completely fantastic. John deserved to win. He served unbelievable. It was an honor to play. We played the greatest match ever, and Wimbledon is the greatest place to play.”  In order to stay in the match, Mahut needed to serve 65 times in the 5th set.

This is one of those games that whether you play tennis or not, you’ll remember for a long time.  Both players refused to give up, refused to let exhaustion get the best of them, and they played their hardest until the very end.  While records are always made to be broken, this one seems like it will remain unchallenged for a while.  Because, really, who wants to play one match for 11 hours, and who even has the strength and endurance to pull it off?

To read the original article, please go to http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-wimbledon-longest-match,0,1719439,print.story

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