Tennis is probably one of the most popular sporting events today. Every year, thousands of people tune in to watch the four major Grand Slam Tournaments (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and The US Open) as well as other minor cups and competitions.
Today’s powerful athletes have changed the way tennis is played. What used to be a fairly laid-back exchange between two (if it’s singles) or four (if it’s doubles) players has now become a game full of aces and smashes. However, even if the ball in modern-day tennis travels faster than it did before, it does not have any bearing on the length of a match. This article outlines the 10 longest tennis matches in history, based on the number of hours or games played.
At Number 10: In the 2001 Davis Cup quarterfinals, Arnaud Clement and Marc Rosset exchanged serves, aces and volleys for 5 hours and 46 minutes before Clement emerged the better player, at least for that particular match. Clement beat Rosset in 5 sets, scoring 6–3, 3–6, 7–6 (7-5), 6–7 (6-8), 15–13.
At Number 9 – The Australian Open 2012 final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The match lasted 5 hours and 53 minutes with Djokovic defeating Nadal in 5 sets, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5.
At Number 8 – Radek Stepanek defeated Ivo Karlovic in a 5-set tennis match that lasted 5 hours and 59 minutes with a score of 6–7 (5-7), 7–6 (7-5), 7–6 (8-6), 6–7 (2-7), 16–14. Although Karlovic lost, he served an amazing 78 aces during this match. Truly a feat that made the Davis Cup Semi-Finals in 2009 truly memorable.
At Number 6, another 6 hour match at the Davis Cup. In the the 2002 doubles Semi-Finals, Lucas Arnold Kerr and David Nalbandian defeated Yevgeni Kafelnikov and Marat Safin in a 5-set match lasting 6 hours and 20 minutes. The final score was 6–4, 6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 19–17.
The 4th longest tennis match in history occurred at the Davis Cup quarterfinals in 1982. This match, which lasted 6 hours and 22 minutes was between John McEnroe and Mats Wilander, and McEnroe won with a score of 9–7, 6–2, 15–17, 3–6, 8–6.
We’re down to the TOP 3 Longest Tennis Matches in History and coming in at Number 3 is the 6-hour 33-minute debacle between Fabrice Santoro and Arnold Clement during the 1st round of the 2004 French Open. Santoro eventually won the match in 5 sets with a score of 6–4, 6–3, 6–7 (5-7), 3–6, 16–14.
The 2nd Longest Tennis Match in History happened in the 1st round of the 2013 Davis Cup. The match, lasting 7 hours and 02 minutes was between doubles partners Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol; and Swiss players Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli. Berdych and Rosol defeated the Swiss duo with a score of 6–4, 5–7, 6–4, 6–7 (3-7), 24–22.
And finally, at Number 1: The longest tennis match in history to date happened at the first round of Wimbledon 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. This colossal match lasted a whopping 11 hours and 05 minutes! After several delays, Isner came out the victor with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7 (7-9), 7–6 (7-3), 70–68 (3 days).
Did you know that Nicolas Mahut experienced a period of injuries and depression after his record-breaking match against Isner?