The longest match in tennis history has ended after 11 hours, five minutes with American John Isner defeating Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the deciding fifth set to advance to the second round of the Wimbledon championships in London.
After being suspended overnight twice, the match resumed Thursday on Wimbledon's obscure, but packed Court 18, tied in the fifth set at 59-59.
Isner's backhand winner closed out the match less than two hours later with a final score of 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68. Isner served 112 aces versus Mahut's 103, and there were only three breaks of serve throughout the epic ordeal. The win puts Isner into the second round of Wimbledon for the first time in his career. Mahut will leave knowing he made the record books, but still without advancing past the opening round of the tournament.
The Isner-Mahut contest easily eclipses the previous match record of six hours, 33 minutes, set at the French Open in 2004.
Isner and Mahut started the first round match on Tuesday. Play was suspended in the fourth set because of darkness, and resumed Wednesday in the fifth set, which continued until the match was held overnight into Thursday. The fifth set had been in progress for seven hours, six minutes when play was called off for the night Wednesday.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.