Video: The greatest tennis match evah?

posted at 4:12 pm on June 24, 2010 by Allahpundit

How great? Previously, the longest match in Wimbledon history clocked in at six and a half hours; in this one, the fifth set alone lasted more than eight. If that’s not enough perspective, consider that a standard tennis “epic” five-setter will usually involve 50 or so games. Including tiebreakers, Isner-Mahut required … 183.

You can watch a few highlights here, but they’re uneventful. Spend your time instead on the spectacle below, in which a first-round match played on one of the outer courts gets the full championship treatment replete with ceremonial gifts and remarks to the crowd. I’m such a sucker for post-game sportsmanship. Exit quotation: “It’s great, something Nic and I will share forever, really. I never said five words to the guy prior to the match. When I see him in the locker room at tournaments, we can share this.”

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FIRST!-Love.

Oh. Sorry.

Thought I was at AICN.

Geez, that is a loooooooong match

Mistahtibbs on June 24, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I have been watching, it was pretty damn good and they deserve a great deal of credit.

rob verdi on June 24, 2010 at 4:16 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Classic sportsmanship, they will be linked forever together…an awesome display of endurance, both physically and mentally.
The classic “bend but won’t break” match-up. Hard to believe that two men could battle that long, at that high of quality.
Cool that Roddick came by last night and delivered Isner’s dinner…also classy.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Exit quotation: “It’s great, something Nic and I will share forever, really. I never said five words to the guy prior to the match. When I see him in the locker room at tournaments, we can share this.”

class acts…

cmsinaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Not a great match, just screwy, flawed rules that allow it to continue without a winner.

faraway on June 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

To us who play, it is the best…to coach potatoes, the worst. I get it. I have never met an athlete, that I haven’t taken out on the courts, and they came away a fan.
No other sport has these “nuances”…no coach during a match to help you…you are alone, man to man…notice they carry (even the number one) their own equipment on and off the court…next to water polo, or basketball, the physical fitness is tops…batters have a hard time with 100mph fast balls, these are 140mph with more movement then the best curve ball…this sport is the bane to people who watch, and don’t participate.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Not a great match, just screwy, flawed rules that allow it to continue without a winner.

faraway on June 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM

You don’t strike me as a “glass half full” kind of guy

Zetterson on June 24, 2010 at 4:23 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

You’re just jealous because both sports produce some of the sexiest men on the planet.

CarolynM on June 24, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a great game, unless the length in time is equal to greatness. However, they will probably be remembered longer than some previous actual winners of the Wimbledon.

This is a great summer for sports; the World Cup, Wimbledon and Lance’s last shot at winning another Tour de France.
Then the snooze sets in with the start of the NFL season…Yawn…zzzzzz

Norwegian on June 24, 2010 at 4:24 PM

I can think of few things worse than being forced to watch a 12+ hour tennis match.

bj1126 on June 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I wouldn’t last ten minutes without having a heart attack and grabbing a beer…

… Good for them!!!

Seven Percent Solution on June 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I hear the ACLU is already filing an injunction to keep our interrogators from forcing terrorists to watch this match in full. :P

bj1126 on June 24, 2010 at 4:26 PM

bj1126 on June 24, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Being forced to watch a 12+ hour tennis match while Rosie ODonnell sits on you naked and sweaty?

lorien1973 on June 24, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Not a great match, just screwy, flawed rules that allow it to continue without a winner.

faraway on June 24, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Basically the same rules for basketball or baseball.
At the end of a normal game if the teams are tied, they continue playing until there is a winner…in this case they had to play until there was a winner.
Baseball could go on for 100 innings, it is possible.

The game went 32 innings before it was suspended at 4:07am the next morning, when it was decided the remainder of the game was to be played at a later date. One June 23 the game was resumed, and it took only 1 inning of play before the Red Sox scored the game winning run.

The difference is these guys had to come back the next day and finish.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:27 PM

To all of you “soccer sucks, tennis is boring” people, listen up: Just because you don’t find something interesting, doesn’t me that it is insignificant. The world doesn’t revolve around your preferences. Also, you comments are predictable and unoriginal.

Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The world doesn’t revolve around your preferences.

Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM

My world does.

faraway on June 24, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Lorein…

… throw in Helen Thomas and you have a deal!

Seven Percent Solution on June 24, 2010 at 4:32 PM

That was pretty incredible. My bet is that this match set a record that won’t be disturbed in the lifetime of anyone who reads AP’s squib today. Come to think of it, incredible’s not the word. Ridiculous is.

J.E. Dyer on June 24, 2010 at 4:34 PM

This will be a great question for final jeopardy or a sports trivial pursuit game:

1) Who were the players in the longest tennis match in professional tennis?

2) How many games were played

3) Who won? What country did they represent, which tennis tournament, etc.

As an out of shape older female, I can just say I admire the competitive peak physical fitness it takes to endure this huge expenditure of human stamina. I hope they had their wheaties and protein shakes to get their muscles in peak form over these 3 days. Zowie.

karenhasfreedom on June 24, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Epic.

Tennis is awesome. It’s a lot like golf in the “zen” feel when you connect with the ball right – and similar to when you connect right in baseball with the bat. Except you have to be at a much higher level of physical stamina to excel at tennis.

MikeknaJ on June 24, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Watched the interview with the American this afternoon on ESPN2, it was so good. Our sports ambassadors have been doing us proud this week.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Despite what liberals try to state…we are good people. We enjoy spirited competition.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

To all of you “soccer sucks, tennis is boring” people, listen up: Just because you don’t find something interesting, doesn’t me that it is insignificant. The world doesn’t revolve around your preferences.

[Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:28 PM]

You’re right, it doesn’t. So quit making making it sound like it does. You ought to know by now that most of those comments are made to annoy (they’re made in every sport thread, including basketball and football) and get a rise out of people like you. And it will continue because it works.

Oh and it doesn’t help when you call a sport beautiful. Dancing is beautiful. Sweaty people running around with clothes on and chasing inanimate objects is not, it begs for ridicule.

Dusty on June 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM

PS Cue, dancing sucks comments.

Dusty on June 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM

So very impressive. The mental toughness displayed is absolutely remarkable. Tennis is a sport (well put, MikeknaJ) that has a lot of ebbs and flows, so for two competitors to play at such a level over such time, almost unbelievable.

Spirit of 1776 on June 24, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2010 at 4:41 PM
====================
Despite what liberals try to state…we are good people. We enjoy spirited competition.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

right2bright: True dat!:)

canopfor on June 24, 2010 at 4:50 PM

allah, wheres our bassmaster elite series tournament post? 29 days until the final. That counts as a “sport” right =)

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Epic!!!!!!!!!!!

One of the greatest matches…evah!!!!!!!!

On that note….

Isner promptly loses in Round Two.

Lance Murdock on June 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Dusty on June 24, 2010 at 4:48 PM

Looks like i’m the one getting a rise out of you. And I didn’t ever, nor would I call a sport beautiful; I think you have me confused with somebody else. And I’ll continue to point out a lack of originality when I see it, ie. sprots are boring etc. Thanks.

Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:55 PM

I also am proud of our American athletes and the way they have been good ambasadors. It’s been a good couple of days for USA sports. The athletes certainly work endlessly, and have a lot to be proud of.

Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:57 PM

I watched a few hours worth on Wednesday and all of this morning’s play. It was both maddening and riveting to watch.

Both guys were classy to the end. It was refreshing.

A terrific lesson in perseverance and sportsmanship.

jennifernaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:58 PM

: “It’s great, something Nic and I will share forever, really. I never said five words to the guy prior to the match. When I see him in the locker room at tournaments, we can share this.”
==================
Wow,no kidding,awesome!

“The guys an absolute Warrior”.
-John Isner

canopfor on June 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Isner promptly loses in Round Two.

Lance Murdock on June 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

No doubt. LOL. Poor schmuck. His muscles must be jello at this point.

jennifernaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Our sportsmanship is pretty darn good also.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Guys, let’s be serious here.

The MATCH WAS FIXED.

iamse7en on June 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Looks like i’m the one getting a rise out of you.

[Hunt035 on June 24, 2010 at 4:55 PM]

Yeah, you did. And sorry about the “beautiful” remark as it was a general remark and not intended for you.

Dusty on June 24, 2010 at 5:00 PM

I don’t know that it was the greatest ever. It was the longest and the most improbable ever. The number of games played, the number of aces were incredible — over 200 total — and the sheer effort it takes to concentrate enough to hold your serve through 68 games each in the final set, that is what’s incredible.

The play wasn’t spectacular. The service games were awesome, but the return was nothing to write home about.

These two men should be proud of their efforts. It won’t be equaled for a very long time, if ever.

And for all of you who just want to piss off the fans with how boring or how awful it was, pffft. That’s all the rise you’ll get out of me.

Tennman on June 24, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Eh, certainly not the greatest match ever. A spectacle for sure, but mostly it was two evenly-matched guys who were worn out and couldn’t return each other’s serves.

Certainly not the equal of Rafa vs. Federer.

Good Solid B-Plus on June 24, 2010 at 5:28 PM

This was a tennis version of the Gatti-Ward fights. Two equally matched competitors going at each other as long as they can stand it.

Since they now hold the #1 and #2 positions on many records at Wimbledon, they’re assured a place in tennis history.

rokemronnie on June 24, 2010 at 5:36 PM

It wasn’t great tennis as far as shot-making. Just a lot of service winners, which is kindah normal on grass. It was an epic match due to its length. Better them than me out there, though!!

SouthernGent on June 24, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Our sportsmanship is pretty darn good also.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Absolutely…

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 5:38 PM

Tennman on June 24, 2010 at 5:12 PM

And that is an Isner game…big bombing serves. He has great game (top 20), but it is overshadowed by his serves…imagine 140 mph, from a 6’9 and hitting the corners.
No one is real successful at returning his serves, but when they are returned they come back hard for a winner, or blocked back for a “sitter”.

right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM

imagine 140 mph, from a 6′9 and hitting the corners.
right2bright on June 24, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Since I’m quite a bit smaller than 6’9, thinking of anything coming at me from 10 feet up in the air at 140 miles an hour is not a pleasant thought.

I’d much rather watch it, thankyouverymuch, on the TV.

He seems like a really good kid. I hope he makes it up the rankings ladder. We could use him.

Tennman on June 24, 2010 at 5:46 PM

I don’t care for tennis, but I will give it credit. No tennis game will end in a 0-0 tie, unlike some other popular sport.

:D

hadsil on June 24, 2010 at 5:51 PM

This could be great – if Roddick wins of course

runner on June 24, 2010 at 5:56 PM

Guys, let’s be serious here.

The MATCH WAS FIXED.

if any sport is fixed, it’s the NBA.

David Stern has a nice relationship with his refs; refs who seem to show up around 2 minutes left in a game.

Think the 7 game finals was an accident?

rickyricardo on June 24, 2010 at 6:16 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

I haven’t played in decades (I took lessons for years as a kid, and got fairly good), but I would rather watch a tennis match than basketball or baseball. Or soccer.

I’m still damn good at ping-pong (not as much running)

Ugly on June 24, 2010 at 6:29 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

You can not like tennis, but there is no doubt that tennis is played to win and takes amazing athletes at that level… Soccer you sort of run around alot…

phreshone on June 24, 2010 at 7:30 PM

tennis, the one sport worse then soccer

offroadaz on June 24, 2010 at 4:17 PM

For the record, both tennis fans and soccer fans know the difference between the words “then” and “than”.

(You want to snark, offroadie? Bring it. We can snark.)

Jaibones on June 24, 2010 at 9:50 PM

No tennis game will end in a 0-0 tie, unlike …

hadsil on June 24, 2010 at 5:51 PM

For what it’s worth, you have it exactly right. FIFA is stupid beyond belief for the rule allowing a tie at any level of their sport. Ties are stupid and provide incentive to do exactly nothing but prevent scoring.

If FIFA required an overtime period, followed by a series of sudden death periods (and no fuc*ing shootouts), no one would allow avoidable ties. The game is grueling enough already; they would pull out all the stops to score. You’d have 6-5 games.

Jaibones on June 24, 2010 at 9:56 PM

‘tennis, the one sport worse then soccer’

Staggeringly ignorant comment. Tennis is great in every way soccer is awful. Tennis requires great hand/eye coordination, great athleticism, brains(the guy is out there on his own and no coaching is allowed during matches), they play until there is a definitive winner(none of this no score/tie crap), faking injuries is extremely frowned upon and nearly unheard of, abd requires great athleticism and the use of all four appendages. The only people who don’t like tennis are insecure hetero males that think unless it involves overt violence, it isn’t a real sport.

kit9 on June 25, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Lance Murdock on June 24, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Predication confirmed

Lance Murdock on June 25, 2010 at 1:15 PM

I feel so bad for Isner. I knew he wasn’t gonna have anything else in the tank. He played about the equivalent of 5 games in one in the 1st round. Poor guy.

You’ll get them next time, dude.

Sultry Beauty on June 25, 2010 at 2:15 PM