Longest tennis match records

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At the 2010 Wimbledon Championships John Isner (left) defeated Nicolas Mahut (right) 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 in the world's longest ever tennis match. The match lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes.
A plaque commemorating the Isner-Mahut match exists on Court 18 at Wimbledon.

This article details longest tennis match records by duration or number of games. The 1973 introduction of the tiebreak reduced the opportunity for such records to be broken. However, among the Grand Slams, only the US Open uses the tiebreak in the final set; the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic tennis instead use the advantage set rules in the final set – in such a set there can be an indefinite number of games until there is a winner. This resulted, for example, in the record-obliterating Isner v. Mahut match at Wimbledon 2010.

Overall[edit]

Men[edit]

The Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships holds the record for the longest tennis match both in time and games played. Only two official ATP matches have lasted longer than 7 hours. Seven matches have lasted longer than 6 hours and 37 matches have lasted longer than 5 hours.[1]

Women[edit]

The longest women's match (by time) took place at a tournament in Richmond, Virginia, in 1984, when Vicki Nelson took 6 hours, 31 minutes to defeat Jean Hepner 6–4, 7–6(11–9). The match featured a 29-minute, 643-shot rally, the longest in professional tennis history.[3]

The longest women's match (by games) occurred in 1995 when Chanda Rubin defeated Patricia Hy-Boulais 7–6(7–4), 6–7(5–7), 17–15 in the second round at Wimbledon.[4] This 58 game match took 3 hours 45 minutes to complete.

Doubles[edit]

Australian Open[edit]

Men[edit]

Longest match by time played
2012 final, 5 hours and 53 minutes
Serbia Novak Djoković (details)566657
Spain Rafael Nadal742775
Also the longest grand slam singles title final in the Open Era.
Longest singles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[7]
1927, 71 games
Australia Gerald Patterson363186
Australia John Hawkes646163
This was the longest Grand Slam final in games played until the Federer v Roddick final at Wimbledon in 2009.[8]
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring[9]
2003 quarterfinals, 83 games
United States Andy Roddick4774621
Morocco Younes El Aynaoui6656419

Women[edit]

Francesca Schiavone won the longest ever match at a women's Grand Slam event in 4 hours 44 minutes.
Longest match by time played
2011 fourth round, 4 hours and 44 minutes
Italy Francesca Schiavone6116
Russia Svetlana Kuznetsova4614
Also the longest women's match in a Grand Slam in the Open Era,[10] and the second-longest women's match in the Open Era.[11]
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
1996 quarterfinals, 48 games
United States Chanda Rubin6216
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario4614
Longest singles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[12]
1956, 33 games
Australia Mary Carter Reitano369
Australia Thelma Coyne Long627

Mixed[edit]

French Open[edit]

Arnaud Clément (pictured) lost the longest ever match at the French Open to Fabrice Santoro in 6 hours 33 minutes. He expressed his disappointment at losing the match which until 2010 held the record for the longest ever match stating: "Frankly, I don't give a damn...What world record? Do I get a medal? If I'm not getting anything, frankly, I'm not interested. It doesn't count."[13]

Men[edit]

Longest match by time played[14]
2004 first round, 6 hours, 33 minutes
France Fabrice Santoro6665316
France Arnaud Clément4377614
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[14]
1951 semifinal, 76 games
South Africa Eric Sturgess107859
Australia Ken McGregor89677
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
2012 second round, 76 games
France Paul-Henri Mathieu6266318
United States John Isner7744616
Longest singles final match by time played[14]
1982, 4 hours and 42 minutes
Sweden Mats Wilander17866
Argentina Guillermo Vilas66604
Longest singles final by games, before introduction of the tiebreaker[14]
1927, 61 games
France René Lacoste645611
United States Bill Tilden46739

Men's doubles[edit]

Longest men's doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[15]
1934, 63 games
France Jean Borotra
France Jacques Brugnon
116249
Australia Jack Crawford
United States Vivian McGrath
93667
1971, 63 games
United States Arthur Ashe
United States Marty Riessen
646611
United States Tom Gorman
United States Stan Smith
86349

Women[edit]

Longest match by time played[16]
1995 French Open, 4 hours 7 minutes
France Virginie Buisson676
Netherlands Noëlle van Lottum7352
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1972 third-round match, 56 games
Australia Kerry Melville Reid9416
United States Pam Teeguarden7614
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
1991 second round, 46 games
United States Linda Harvey-Wild796711
Peru Laura Gildemeister67799
Longest singles final match by number of games
1996 French Open, 40 games
Germany Steffi Graf6610
Spain Arantxa Sánchez Vicario378
Longest doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[17]
1955, 50 games
United States Beverly Baker Fleitz
United States Darlene Hard
7613
United Kingdom Shirley Brasher Bloomer
United Kingdom Patricia Ward Hales
5811
This is also the longest women's doubles match in terms of games that has occurred at The French Open.[17]

Mixed doubles[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[18]
1956, 38 games
Italy Nicola Pietrangeli
United Kingdom Shirley Brasher Bloomer
966
Australia Robert Howe
Australia Lorraine Coghlan Robinson
782

Wimbledon[edit]

Men[edit]

The 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal lasted 4 hours 48 minutes and is the third longest singles final by time played.
Longest match by time and number of games
2010 first round, 183 games, 11 hours and 5 minutes.[19]
This is the longest professional tennis
match ever played at any level.[19]
United States John Isner63677770
France Nicolas Mahut46796368
Longest singles final match by time played
2008, 4 hours and 48 minutes[20]
Spain Rafael Nadal6665689
Switzerland Roger Federer44777107
Longest singles final match by number of games
2009 77 games[21] This match also had the longest final set in a Grand Slam final by games[21]
Switzerland Roger Federer57877316
United States Andy Roddick76665614

Men's Doubles[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1966 first round, 98 games[22]
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Nikola Pilić
United States Gene Scott
1912649
United States Cliff Richey
Denmark Torben Ulrich
2110467
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
2007 third round 102 games[22]
Brazil Marcelo Melo
Brazil André Sá
57(7)47(9)28
Australia Paul Hanley
Zimbabwe Kevin Ullyett
76(4)66(7)26
Longest doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1968, 70 games
Australia John Newcombe
Australia Tony Roche
385146
Australia Ken Rosewall
Australia Fred Stolle
667123
Longest doubles final match by time played
1992, 5 hours and 1 minute
United States John McEnroe
Germany Michael Stich
57(7)37(7)19
United States Jim Grabb
United States Richey Reneberg
76(5)66(5)17
Also the longest doubles final by number of games (83).

Women[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1948 second round, 54 games
France Alice Weiwers8146
United States Rita Anderson10124
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
1995 second round, 58 games
United States Chanda Rubin776517
Canada Patricia Hy-Boulais647715
Longest match by time played[23]
1995 second round, 3 hours 45 mins
United States Chanda Rubin776517
Canada Patricia Hy-Boulais647715
NB: The Bud Collins History of Tennis incorrectly lists this match as having occurred in 1996
Longest singles final match by time played[24]
2005, 2 hours and 45 minutes
United States Venus Williams4779
United States Lindsay Davenport6647
Longest singles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[25]
1970, 46 games
Australia Margaret Court1411
United States Billie Jean King129

Women's Doubles[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1933 first round, 48 games
United Kingdom Pat Brazier
United Kingdom Christabel Wheatcroft
1159
United Kingdom Mildred Nonweiler
United Kingdom Betty Soames
977
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1933, 38 games
France Simone Mathieu
United States Elizabeth Ryan
696
United Kingdom Freda James
United Kingdom Billie Yorke
2114
1967, 38 games
United States Billie Jean King
United States Rosemary Casals
966
Brazil Maria Bueno
United States Nancy Richey Gunter
1142

Mixed doubles[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1967 quarterfinals, 56 games
Australia Ken Fletcher
Australia Margaret Court
6716
Soviet Union Alex Metreveli
Soviet Union Anna Dmitrieva
8514
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1949, 48 games
South Africa Eric Sturgess
South Africa Sheila Piercey Summers
997
Australia John Bromwich
United States Louise Brough Clapp
7115

US Open[edit]

Stefan Edberg's (pictured) 1992 defeat of Michael Chang 6–7(3–7), 7–5, 7–6(7–3), 5–7, 6–4 in 5 hours 26 minutes remains the longest match at the US Open in terms of match duration.

Men[edit]

Longest match by time played[26]
1992, 5 hours and 26 minutes
Sweden Stefan Edberg6377756
United States Michael Chang7756374
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
1979 second round, 63 games
United Kingdom John Lloyd56777
Australia Paul McNamee77566
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1966 third round, 105 games
Mexico Marcello Lara
Mexico Joaquin Loyo-Mayo
10241136
Spain Manuel Santana
Mexico Luis-Augusto García
1222962
1967 quarterfinals, 105 games
South Africa Cliff Drysdale
South Africa Ray Moore
298386
Australia Roy Emerson
Brazil Ron Barnes
316662
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1969, 100 games
United States Franklin Robbins229686
United States Donald Dell2078104
Longest singles final match by time played[27]
1988, 4 hours and 54 minutes
Sweden Mats Wilander64656
Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl46374
2012, 4 hours and 54 minutes
United Kingdom Andy Murray (details)7127236
Serbia Novak Djokovic6105662
Longest singles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1949, 67 games
United States Pancho Gonzales162666
United States Ted Schroeder186124
Longest doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1946, 74 games
United States Gardnar Mulloy
United States William Talbert
362620
United States Frank Guernsey
United States Don McNeill
646318

Women[edit]

Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1898 challenge round, 51 games
best-of-five-sets match
United States Juliette Atkinson65627
United States Marion Jones37465
Longest doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1920, 43 games
United States Eleanor Goss
United States Marion Zinderstein
1346
United States Helen Baker
United States Eleanor "Teach" Tennant
1163
Longest match by time played[28]
3rd round, 2011. 3 hours 16 minutes
Australia Samantha Stosur7(7)6(5)7
Russia Nadia Petrova6(5)7(7)5

Mixed doubles[edit]

Longest mixed doubles final match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction
1959, 48 games
Australia Neale Fraser
United States Margaret Osborne duPont
7136
Australia Bob Mark
United States Janet Hopps Adkisson
5152

Summer Olympics[edit]

Overall[edit]

Men[edit]

Singles, best-of-three-sets system
Longest match by time played[30][31]
2012 semifinals, 4 h and 26 min (58 games)
Switzerland Roger Federer37719
Argentina Juan Martín del Potro66517
Note: Match played on 3 August 2012. This is also the longest best-of-three-sets men's singles match ever played in the open era (with or without a tiebreaker in the final set).
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring[29][32][33]
2012 second round, 66 games (3 h 57 min)
France Jo-Wilfried Tsonga6325
Canada Milos Raonic3623
Note: Match played on 31 July 2012. Beating the previous record of 61 games set during the five set doubles final in 1988. The third set also set a record for most games played in a set at an Olympics, beating the previous record set at the 2004 Summer Olympics by Fernando González and Taylor Dent, 30 games, by 18 games.
Singles, best-of-five-sets system
Longest match by number of games, before the tiebreaker introduction[29]
1920 semifinals, 76 games (6 hrs?) (See Note)
United Kingdom Gordon Lowe148566
Greece Augustos Zerlendis1210744
Note: World Tennis Magazine state that some media outlets have reported [this match] lasting approximately six hours.[34] This match therefore could have been the longest Olympic tennis match in terms of match duration as well as being the longest Olympic tennis match in terms of number of games.
Longest match by number of games, after the introduction of the tiebreaker[29]
1992 first round, 5 h and 53 min (56 games)
Germany Boris Becker3775776
Norway Christian Ruud6627623
Note: Tsonga vs. Raonic above (best-of-three-sets system) was longer by number of games.
Doubles
Longest match by time played[29]
2008 semifinals, 4 h and 44 min (59 games)
Sweden Simon Aspelin
Sweden Thomas Johansson
78419
France Arnaud Clément
France Michaël Llodra
66617
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring[35]
2012 second round, 63 games
Brazil Marcelo Melo
Brazil Bruno Soares
1624
Czech Republic Tomáš Berdych
Czech Republic Radek Štěpánek
6422
Note: This match was played on 1 Aug 2012, only a day after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Milos Raonic set the record of 66 games in a best-of-three-sets match.

Women[edit]

Singles
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
1988 second round, 42 games
Soviet Union Larisa Savchenko63779
United Kingdom Sara Gomer77637
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring
2004 first round, 42 games
Argentina Paola Suárez77659
France Nathalie Dechy61777
Doubles
Longest match by number of games, using tiebreaker scoring[29]
1988 first round, 63 games
Canada Carling Bassett-Seguso
Canada Jill Hetherington
710520
Argentina Mercedes Paz
Argentina Gabriela Sabatini
68718

Davis Cup[edit]

Longest rubber by duration
2013 World Group first round, Switzerland vs. Czech Republic. 7 hours and 2 minutes[36]
Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka
Switzerland Marco Chiudinelli
474722
Czech Republic Tomáš Berdych
Czech Republic Lukáš Rosol
656624
Longest rubber by number of games (Doubles)
Doubles of the 1973 American Zone Final between Chile and the USA, 122 games[36]
United States Stan Smith
United States Erik Van Dillen
737866
Chile Patricio Cornejo
Chile Jaime Fillol
939613
the 39–37 second set is the longest set in Davis Cup history
Longest rubber by number of games (singles)
1982 American Zone Semifinal between Canada and Venezuela, 100 games[36]
Canada Harry Fritz16119411
Venezuela Jorge Andrew1491169

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The History of Men's Tennis". The-history-of-mens-tennis.com. 2011-01-31. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  2. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/hispanicheritage2008/news/story?id=3604713
  3. ^ Seminara, Dave (2009-09-23). "Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner Recall Longest Point in Pro Tennis". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-19. 
  4. ^ "Top Five Wimbledon "Thrillers"". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  5. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (2010-06-24). "Wimbledon's longest match: Isner v Mahut continues as Queen visits SW19". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  6. ^ By the BBC Sport team at Wimbledon (2007-07-04). "BBC SPORT | Tennis | Day nine as it happened". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  7. ^ "A Page About Australian Open Men's Trivia". All-about-tennis.com. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  8. ^ "Record fifth for Federer-Roddick". Sportsnet.ca. 2009-07-05. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  9. ^ guardian.co.uk staff (2003-01-22). "Roddick survives 83-game epic". The Guardian (London). 
  10. ^ "Schiavone edges Kuznetsova in record marathon". Times LIVE. 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  11. ^ "WTA | News | Latest News | Four Hours, 19 Minutes". Wtatour.com. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  12. ^ "A Page About the Australian Open Ladies' Trivia". All-about-tennis.com. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  13. ^ "Santoro wins the longest match – Tennis – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2004-05-25. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Roland Garros Record Breakers". rolandgarros.com. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  15. ^ "The Longest Matches in French Open History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  16. ^ "Francesca Schiavone Claims Marathon". espn.com. 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  17. ^ a b "The Longest Matches in French Open History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  18. ^ "The Longest Matches in French Open History". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  19. ^ a b Bishop, Greg (2010-06-24). "Isner Wins Marathon Match at Wimbledon". The New York Times. 
  20. ^ Newbery, Piers (2008-07-06). "BBC SPORT | Tennis | Nadal wins epic Wimbledon final". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  21. ^ a b "Wimbledon men's final: Roger Federer outlasts Andy Roddick to win record 15th Grand Slam in epic match – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  22. ^ a b "Doubles match concludes with longest fifth set ever – Tennis – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  23. ^ "Schiavone-Kuznetsova Epic is Second-Longest Ever Women's Match". World Tennis Magazine. 2011-01-23. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  24. ^ "A Page About Wimbledon Ladies Trivia". All-about-tennis.com. 1960-06-27. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  25. ^ However, in 1902, Muriel Robb defeated Charlotte Cooper Sterry 7–5, 6–1 after abandomnent of an overnight score of 4–6, 13–11, thus needing a total of 53 games to win the title.
  26. ^ US Open – Marathon Men – Tennis
  27. ^ "Djokovic tops Nadal in marathon Australian final | News - News". US Open. 2012-01-29. Retrieved 2012-06-08. 
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h Walker, Randy. "Olympic Marathon! Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Outlasts Milos Raonic 25–23 In Third Set". World Tennis Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  30. ^ "Federer edges epic encounter". London2012.com. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  31. ^ "Results 3 August 2012". London2012.com. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  32. ^ "Tsonga joy after record-length match". London2012.com. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  33. ^ "Results 31 July 2012". London2012.com. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  34. ^ http://www.worldtennismagazine.com/archives/7450
  35. ^ "Results of 1 Aug 2012". London2012.com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-04. 
  36. ^ a b c "Davis Cup Records". daviscup.com. 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 

External links[edit]