Human will can overpower physical barriers. If you need proof, consider the second round match at Wimbledon this year between Nicolas Hamut of France and John Isner of the United States.
For two days, Isner and Mahut have battled to determine who would move on to the third round of this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament. The two battled Wednesday for over seven hours, their match has gone ten hours now without a winning outcome, the longest match in tennis history. The match is not over yet, it was suspended because of darkness at 59-59 in the fifth set.
The epic match is not short of incredible nor incredible effort either. The photo to the right is Mahut diving full out at drop shot from Isner at 58-58. Mahut has fought off four match points thus far, and both players’ serves were as precise as can be even after six plus hours on the court Wednesday.
The stats from the match are unbelievable as well, 881 points, 612 in the fifth set alone. Isner has a new record for aces served, 98, followed closely by 95 for Nicolas Mahut. Amongst the other records set at this unforgettable match are most games at 163, longest match at 10 hours, longest set at 7 hours and 6 minutes, most combined aces in a match at 193, and most games in a set at 118.
Both players have shown that determination and fortitude can overcome when many people would have already succumbed to physical exhaustion. Even the scoreboard couldn’t keep up with these two. At 47-47, the scoreboard froze although the actual score had already moved to 48-48. The scoreboard eventually cut out entirely as the players continued on in one of the most incredible tennis matches in history.
John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will continue Thursday in what will surely be an incredible finish to this already incredible tennis match.
*EDIT: John Isner emerged victorious on the third day of the match (70-68 in the 5th set), finishing with 112 aces, in what will be a record that stands for years to come.*