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Top 5 longest Grand Slam matches in the history of tennis

The iconic photo of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut posing in front of the scoreboard after recording the longest match to be played in Grand Slam tennis history during the 2010 Wimbledon.
The iconic photo of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut posing in front of the scoreboard after recording the longest-ever match to be played in Grand Slam history during the 2010 Wimbledon. (Getty Images)

USA’s John Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut recorded the longest tennis match to be ever played in Grand Slam history

It has been almost a decade since the world witnessed the longest tennis match in Grand Slam history.

USA’s John Isner and French tennis star Nicholas Mahut featured in the longest ever tennis match played to date.

Surprisingly, the match went on for three days and was completed in 11 hours and 5 minutes. Isner emerged the eventual winner after the long ordeal winning the final set 70-68.

The iconic photo of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut posing in front of the scoreboard after recording the longest-ever match to be played in Grand Slam history during the 2010 Wimbledon.
The iconic photo of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut posing in front of the scoreboard after recording the longest-ever match to be played in Grand Slam history during the 2010 Wimbledon. (Getty Images)

It should, however, be noted that apart from the US Open, none of the other three Grand Slams have a final set tie-break. Hence, the match goes on until one player has a two-game lead in the final set.

1. John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut (11 hours 5 minutes)

Isner and Mahut went on to record the longest match played in Grand Slam when the duo met each other in the first round of 2010 Wimbledon. The marathon tennis match is not only the longest match in a Grand Slam but also the longest in the history of the sport.

Isner came on top eventually defeating his European counterpart 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68. The two even posed for a photograph in front of the scoreboard which has now become one of the most iconic moments in tennis.

2. Kevin Anderson vs John Isner (6 hours and 35 minutes)

Isner once again became a part of history by being part of the second-longest match in Grand Slam. The match featuring Isner and South African Kevin Anderson in the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2018 is also the longest ever semi-final in grand slam history.

The deciding set between the duo did not see a service break from either of the players until the 50th game, with Anderson breaking Isner’s serve. Unlike last time Isner was at the receiving end this time as he lost 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 to Anderson.

3. Fabrice Santoro vs Arnaud Clément (6 hours and 33 minutes)

Local lads Santoro and Clement gave the French crowd something to cherish forever when they met each other in the first round of the 2006 French Open.

Both the Frenchman played the longest-ever match played on Roland Garros clay-court, with Santoro emerging the ultimate winner.

Santoro defeated his countrymate 6–4, 6–3, 6–7(5–7), 3–6, 16–14 in a match that went on for a little over six and a half hours.

4. Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (5 hours and 53 minutes)

Considered as one of the best matches in the history of tennis for its sheer quality, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal went head to head for almost six hours in the final of 2012 Australian Open.

In the end, Djokovic went on top overthrowing his opponent 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7(5–7), 7–5 to claim his third Australian Open title.

5.Paul-Henri Mathieu vs John Isner (5 hours and 41 minutes)

French wildcard Mathieu overcame Isner in the second round of 2012 Roland Garros to record the second-longest match in French Open history and the fifth-longest in Grand Slam history.

Mathieu defeated the American 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16 in five hours 41 minutes to progress to the third round.

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