5. John Isner d. Nicolas Mahut – Wimbledon Championships 2010, Round 1
Final Score: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68
There simply aren’t any words to describe this match. On a seemingly normal day during the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, Isner and Mahut faced off in what would be the longest tennis match ever recorded. Lasting over the course of 3 days, the two engaged in a brutal 11-hour, 5-minute match, in which the fifth set alone lasted 8 hours and 11 minutes.
The amount of records broken in this match are too many for one match.
- Longest match (11h, 5m)
- Longest set (70-68, 8h, 11m)
- Most games played in a match (183 total games)
- Most aces by a player in a match (Isner-112, MAhut-103, 215 total)
The match is still etched in players’ brains, as it should be.
Mahut in 2015: “I will always have the feeling that John Isner is the winner of this match. But, you know, a lot of people came to me after a few months and told me that this match was much more than win or lose. It was something else.”
It’s difficult to rank this match any higher than it is, given the low stakes of the 1st-round match and the boring nature of the continuous holding of serve between the two players. It’s a different type of a great match, showing how truly difficult it is for a player to break serve and gain the upper hand. Both players came so close during that final set, but it ultimately took 8 grueling hours before Isner finally won his break point and the match.
“Those numbers are etched in my memory, Isner said in 2015. It’s a basketball score, 70-68. It always reminds me of that. I’ll never forget these two numbers for as long as I live. It’s just crazy.”
This match will go down in history as one of the greatest matches that’s ever been played, rightfully so, but the others on this list are deservedly above it.