Longest match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut

The longest game in tennis history came to an end yesterday tea-time as American 23rd seed Isner beat France’s Mahut 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68 in the first round at Wimbledon – after more than 11 hours and 5 minutes play.
Weatherburn, tennis development officer and head coach at Lakes Leisure Ulverston, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It’s mind-boggling.
“It makes you proud to be involved in the sport. The fitness levels of the two players was amazing, second to-none in any sport worldwide.
“They have smashed all kinds of records. It’s like Usian Bolt running the 100m in four seconds. It’s so far beyond any previous records, I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like it ever again in our lifetime.”
Asked to try and explain why the last set became such a record-breaking epic, Weatherburn added: “Both the players involved are big servers and, as they became tired, that made it harder to break serve.
“The fact it was getting dark the first two nights also played a part, making it even harder for them to see serves that, even after 10 hours of play, are still going over 125mph.
“The previous record for the longest fifth set was 24-22. What we’ve seen is so far beyond that, it’s just unbelievable.
“I remember winning one match myself 12-10 in the third set and I thought that was a marathon. That’s nothing to compare to what we’ve seen between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut out on Court 18 at Wimbledon.”
Weatherburn also believes the momentous first round tussle will help raise the profile of the sport.
“Everybody, without exception, has been talking about the game,” said Weatherburn.
“It’s the best thing that could have happened for tennis. England might have got through in the football World Cup but there’s been just as many people talking about tennis and the epic match.”
Not all deciding-set tennis matches are concluded in the same way that they are at Wimbledon. In some tournaments a tie-break will be played once 6-6 is reached.
“A fair few people would like to see a tie-break in the final set and I have no doubt it will be discussed,” said Weatherburn.
“But, this has raised the profile of tennis, showing people if they were in any doubt about the fitness of tennis players.
“It’s super-human stuff and probably a unique one-off.”