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A look back at the longest tennis match of all time

A look back at the longest tennis match of all time
© Reuters
The American is 35 on Sunday but is still best remembered for winning the longest match in tennis history in 11 hours and five minutes.

John Isner celebrates his 35th birthday on Sunday.

The American is well known for taking part in the longest match in tennis history at Wimbledon in 2010.

Here, the PA news agency delves through the archives to take a closer look at the marathon with Nicolas Mahut.

Isner brought an end to the longest match ever when he broke the serve of Mahut to secure a 70-68 victory in the deciding set of their first-round Wimbledon encounter 10 years ago.

After 11 hours and five minutes on Court 18, and with a raft of records having been broken, 23rd seed Isner found two crucial winners to break the resistance of the Frenchman in the 138th game of a remarkable set.

The pair first walked on court the day before, and Isner – who hit 112 aces in the match – secured a 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 70-68 triumph to bring the curtain down on one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the All England Club.

Upon the completion of the match – and a final set that lasted eight hours and 11 minutes – the All England Club announced the two players and match umpire were to be presented with awards to mark their achievement, while a commemorative plaque was erected on Court 18.

Both players appeared to be spent forces at the end of the gruelling encounter, but received their mementos with good grace.

Isner said of his vanquished opponent: "The guy's an absolute warrior. It stinks someone had to lose.

"To share this with him was an absolute honour. Maybe we'll meet again somewhere down the road and it won't be 70-68.

"This one's obviously going to stick with me probably the rest of my life really. But I hope it doesn't define my career."

The match was the longest in professional history, beating the previous mark of six hours and 33 minutes set by Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement at the French Open in 2004.

Not done there, Isner was involved in the second longest match at Wimbledon in 2018, losing in the semi-finals to Kevin Anderson.

The pair slugged it out on Centre Court for six hours and 36 minutes before the South African eighth seed came through 7-6 (6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9) 6-4 26-24.

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