The Brits have always loved history and tradition. The folks at Wimbledon have made it possible to revisit one of the most historic tennis matches of all time — last year’s marathon match between American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. Believe it or not, they have drawn a first round match in the upcoming Wimbledon tournament. (Tennis player and commentator Justin Gimelstob predicted this, but who would have believed it?) I guess the Brits wanted to remind the world that they have a sense of humor.
John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have been drawn together in the first round at Wimbledon, just one year on from their incredibly long match at SW19 last year. Isner’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-3), 70-68 defeat of Mahut in the first round at Wimbledon last year spanned three days, lasted more than 11 hours and set a new tennis record for the duration of a single match. The pair’s final set alone lasted over eight hours and was longer than any other tennis match ever played.
Even the scoreboard couldn’t handle the drama, malfunctioning at one point. The final set itself — 138 games over 8 hours and 11 minutes — eclipsed the mark for both time elapsed and number of games for any previous tennis match. A plaque on the court commemorates the event.
I’d like to thank Andy Murray’s “tweet” for alerting me to the situation this morning. It read: “Isner vs mahut drawing each other in the first round after last year is the most amazing thing I’ve seen in tennis! Centre court anyone?!”