The match of the century: J.Isner def. N.Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD) - MensTennisForums.com

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Old 06-27-2010, 08:48 PM   #1
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Talking The match of the century: J.Isner def. N.Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7/9), 7-6(7/3), 70-68



REPORT

Part I
(6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6...)


When I was wondering which matches I would see on Tuesday, I chose Mahut-Isner as one of them. I even remember what I was thinking about the possible outcome: "Isner will win something like 7-6 5-7 6-4 7-6, so would be nice to see two tie-breaks". When I first came around the court I realized it was "4-6 2:0" so I was a little bit disappointed because that scoreline had suggested that probably wouldn't have even been "7" in numbers of the first two sets. At one set apiece I decided to enter the court No. 18 and had a pleasure to watch every single point of 10 out of 11 hours of that extraordinary encounter! The sets 3rd and 4th obviously didn't disappoint me, there were two tie-breaks what was already nice, but what's maybe more important - the quality of tennis was quite high.

Part II
(...59:59...)


The next day I decided to go on court No. 18 earlier, already to see Molik in action and wait for the future legends. I knew (after what I saw on Tuesday) that the record of the longest 5th set would be broken. The scoreline was '6-4 3-6 6-7(7) 7-6(3)' and it reminded me about previous Wimbledon's record which had been made ten years earlier when Philippoussis beat Schalken 4-6 6-3 6-7(7) 7-6(4) 20-18, it's tough not to see the similarity between the scorelines
Isner & Mahut had been very convincing in their service games during sets No. 3 and 4, so I knew that after a night of rest one break would be pivotal, "Maybe will be 15-13, maybe 16-14, maybe a new record 22-20 or 23-21, or maybe it's just a wishful thinking?". The last two sets on Tuesday produced great atmosphere on court, I was actually surprised that on Wednesday, more or less until 25:25 the crowd was very peaceful, some people went out with tired faces. I suppose people didn't realize that already at 20:20 they were a part of history in the making! Nevertheless, from 25:25 to 59:59 the atmosphere was stunning, really tough to describe. I had seen so many matches in the past, but nothing could compare to that amazing mix of positive emotions entwined with unbelievable astonishment of the crowd. Isner is one of my favorite players, I hadn't a good opinion about Mahut. I considered him before that match as a better version of Ivan Navarro, so this type of a player who is weak mentally, likes approaching the net, but is often really awkward out there, and his ground-strokes are average. In the 5th set though, I changed my opinion about Mahut, I was impressed by his both game-style and attitude. He was amazingly serving - that's obvious - yet his forehands, backhands and volleys were just perfect. It was a pleasure to watch his tennis, around 20:20 I started to cheer for him! And I was in majority. I'd say Mahut had an advantage among spectators '70/30'. There was not only Mahut vs. Isner on the court but also "Come on Nico!" vs. "Come on John!" in the stands I was the only person there with "Come on Mahut!" and screamed also "Come on guys, let's go to '40'!" and "Come on guys, let's go to '50'!" After 50-all, I was already so extremely astonished that couldn't scream "Let's go to '60'!", I couldn't believe what I was seeing Honestly, at 40:40 I was convinced Mahut would win this match. He had better attitude, was very eager, well motivated with bigger tennis repertoire; Isner began struggling with cramps, and I have to admit - he is not only a tremendous server, he's a great tactician and unbelievable fighter as well. Between, more or less 35-all and 45-all, he had a few games when his 1st serve was slower than his usual 2nd serve! Yet his ground-strokes (especially off the forehand wing) were of the highest order. It started to appear totally unreal... Isner was hitting winner after winner from the baseline, and what the winners it were? Exceptional! Around 45:45 Isner overcame his physical crisis and enjoyed hitting his service bombs again. In the second part of the legendary 5th set, I had an impression that I was watching a match of robots "Isnernator vs. Marahuthon Man" They were just perfect in service games, however, schematic in return games. I couldn't understand how it was possible that guys play spectacular winners from the baseline as servers, but when it comes to return games, at once they act completely hopeless from the same positions on the court! They didn't try to change anything in their return games. What could they lose trying to stand inside the court or 5 meters behind, to give the opponent a different look, opening an occasion for a weird return and creating a chance to somehow surprise the server? The match turned into a "ridiculous computer game". When the server won first point in a game, I already knew that a break wouldn't happen. The scoreboard stood still at 47:47, for me it was almost a metaphysical experience because I knew that it happened just in the moment when was tied the record of the longest set in 133 years of tennis history!!! At 55-all I was a little bit frustrated because I realized that the match would be suspended due to darkness; there was even worse at 58-all when the players got a toilet break, and suddenly Isner had his fourth match point at 59:58, I was convinced it'd be the end - it wasn't... after Mahut's another, countless ace... The match was eventually suspended despite our screaming "We want more! We want more!" and "Centre Court! Centre Court!"

Part III
(...11-9)


Thursday: the court No. 18 was sieged. "Everyone" wanted to be a part of the extraordinary history, third different day, and for the third time I was watching the match from a different perspective, I managed hardly to do it, the crowd gathered around the "18" seemed crazy... Well, in the end it was actually an '11-9' set, some kind of a relief for poor Mahut, I suppose it's better for him to lose that way than '58-60' the day before...

Link to MTF thread
Link to WP article
(check also a comprehensive French version)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg win.jpg (102.4 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg together.jpg (101.6 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg together3.jpg (121.7 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg together2.jpg (75.1 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg score.JPG (108.2 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg ATP.JPG (41.5 KB, 42 views)
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def.N.Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

RECORDS

Many records have been broken, many very detailed records... IMO below the most important ones:

The longest match ever:

11 hours 5 minutes
[previous record: 6 hours 35 minutes, F.Santoro def. A.Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 3-6, 16-14; Roland Garros 2004]


The most games played in singles match:

183 games
[previous record: 126 games, R.Taylor def. W.Gąsiorek 27-29, 31-29, 6-4; Warsaw 1966]


The most games played in a set ever:


138 games
[previous record: 96 games, D.Leach/D.Dell def. L.Schloss/T.Mozur 3-6, 49-47, 22-20; Newport 1967]


The most games played in the fifth set ever:

138 games
[previous record: 54 games, M.Melo/A.Sa def. P.Hanley/K.Ullyett 5-7, 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(7), 28-26; Wimbledon 2007]


The most aces served by a player:

113 aces
[previous record: 78 aces - I.Karlovic, R.Stepanek def. Karlovic 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(2), 16-14; Davis Cup 2009]


The most aces served in a match:

216 aces (113, 103)
[previous record: 96 aces, I.Karlovic (78) vs. R.Stepanek (18)]
Attached Images
File Type: jpg record.jpg (53.0 KB, 15 views)
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def.N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This what you see below it's a combination of my notes during the match and the analysis of the official stats which I did in the stats center.

First set:

* Isner broke Mahut's serve at 4:4 despite Mahut leading 40/15

Second set:

* Mahut broke to "0" at 1:0 (breaking Isner's serve in that match to "0" looks now like a joke)

Third set:

* Mahut led in the tie-break 3:0, 4:2, 6:5, Isner had a set point at 7:6 (and missed backhand return by intches, he was even thought for a while that won that set), at 8:7 Mahut played a return-backhand winner DTL after Isner's more than 130 mph first serve!

Fourth set:

* Mahut won a game at 2:2 despite (15/40) and 5 another break points for Isner, the game contained 7 'deuces', the longest game of the match, and the first one when a player won it, despite a break point down
* Mahut saved a break point at 3:3 (30/40)
* Mahut was 5:4 (30/30), two points away from the match, Isner fought off with a service winner
* Mahut led 3:1 in the tie-break (made double faults at 3:1 and 3:4, risking second serve in both cases)

Fifth set:

Fifth-mega-legend set was dominated by games won to "0" or "15", at times to "30", but usually when a server already led 40/0 or 40/15... Here are all games when a server had some troubles, the scoreline all the time from Isner's perspective who was serving first (Italic - games with break points):

7:6 (30/30) - Mahut played great backhand cross from the baseline
10:9 (40/30) - first match point for Isner after Mahut's two double faults in a row (didn't risk the 2nd serve in both cases!), saved with an ace down the T
13:12 (30/15) - Mahut played high-backhand volley winner
16:16 (15/30)
18:18 (15/30)
24:23 (30/0) - then 3 deuces, Mahut got "code violation" in that game for screaming "shit!" (was furious after Layhani's overrule which changed apparent "ace" into "2nd serve" at 'deuce')
24:24 (deuce) - Isner after winning that game screamed "Come on!" the only time in the 5th set
25:24 (deuce)
33:32 (40/15) - Mahut saved second MP - first in that game - after 7-stroke rally (hit the line - more outside than inside - with a backhand DTL and finished the point with volley winner); another MP saved with a 123 mph service winner
35:35 (deuce)
39:39 (deuce)
42:41 (30/30)
44:44 (15/30) - Isner served three consecutive aces
48:47 (30/15)
50:50 (15/40) - the only break points for Mahut in the 5th set; first saved with a 132 mph s.winner, the second one with an overhead after a 5-stroke rally
51:51 (15/30)
54:53 (30/0) - Mahut served risky 2nd serve and finished the point with forehand volley, followed it with 3 aces in a row
54:54 (15/30)
59:58 - Isner had adv.MP despite 40/15 for Mahut in that game, the Frenchman saved 4th MP with an ace down the T
***
59:59 (deuce)
68:68 - Isner at the beginning of that game threw his racquet the only time in the match, was 0/30 - won four points in a row
69:68 - (0/15), at (15/15) Mahut played an awful forehand-dropshot from comfortable position, (15/30), (30/30), forehand passing-shot DTL, (30/40), backhand passing-shot down the line - the end, first break of serve after 169 consecutive games (!!) won by servers

Detailed aces stats

Aces by sets:

Isner - 113 (4, 4, 9, 11, 85)
Mahut - 103 (3, 6, 9, 8, 77)

Here are games when a player served 3 aces or more:

Second set:

- Isner at 2:5

Third set:

- Mahut at 3:4
- Isner 4 aces in a row at 1:3 in the TB, so precisely did it at 1:3, 3:4, 4:4 and 5:6... at 4:4 the fastest serve of the match - 143 mph (230 kmh)

Fourth set:

- Mahut at 0:0

Fifth set:

- Isner at 0:0 (3 in a row), 5:5, 23:23, 27:27, 44:44 (3 in a row), 61:61
- Mahut at 2:3 (3 in a row), 16:17, 17:18 (4 in a row), 25:26 (3 in a row), 50:51 (3 in a row), 53:54 (3 in a row), 60:61 (3 in a row)
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def.N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

MY VIDEOS

* Mahut saves MP at 32:33

* Mahut saves MP at 58:59 (what an ace it could've been if he had won the match?)

* The last point out of 980 played in this memorable match, after 11 hours of play (upside down because it was a match out of this world)
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Last edited by Voo de Mar : 10-13-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

MY PHOTOS

1-2) The beginning of the third set: comparison of record holders in served aces
3) The crowd at the end of the third set
4) Isner a moment after winning 4th set
5) The decision to suspend the match due to darkness
6) Legends arrive on the court to play legendary "59:59" set (the trainer helps Mahut with blisters)
7) First serve of the legendary "59-set"
8) Mahut serves at 1:2
9) Isner serves at 9:9
10) Isner has first MP at 10:9
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.JPG (66.7 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 2.JPG (71.6 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 3.JPG (83.9 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 4.JPG (67.6 KB, 6 views)
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File Type: jpg 9.JPG (143.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg 10.JPG (94.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

1) 18:18, equaled Wimbledon's fifth set record
2) Isner serves at 28:28, "30" in the fifth set for the first time is guaranteed
3) 32:32, Mahut's disappointment after losing a chance to have 30-0 on Isner's serve for the first time in the set!
4) 41:41, Layhani gets out from his chair the only time during the 7-hour "59 set" to fix serve-sensor
5) No scoreboard a couple of minutes after the frozen at 47-all
6) Isner a moment after winning the most spectacular point in the 5th set (FH passing-shot DTL after relatively long rally)
7) Mahut after a dive, he did it twice near the end of "59 set" both times received standing ovations
8) An interview with legends after second suspension
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 11.JPG (131.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 12.JPG (91.7 KB, 4 views)
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File Type: jpg 17.JPG (99.4 KB, 25 views)
File Type: jpg 18.JPG (69.2 KB, 18 views)
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Last edited by Voo de Mar : 10-12-2013 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

1) Ridiculous queue 30 minutes before the Thursday's resumption
2) Legends appear on the court with Layhani
3) Frustrated Isner with towel in teeth at 62:62
4) A moment after the final point
5) The ceremony with Tim Henman
6) Hero of the day
7-8) Scorelines that day

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 19.JPG (68.6 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg 199.JPG (98.9 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg 1999.JPG (150.4 KB, 13 views)
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File Type: jpg S5003399.JPG (215.2 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg S5003406.JPG (244.5 KB, 43 views)
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Great tribute, Voo. Good to see you back on here, especially after this epic.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Thank you so much for the report and the stats Such an amazing match.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Most people with seats on thursday sat on the court from 10 and watched the 2 wta matches first.

Can't believe you got to watch almost the whole thing. That's amazing.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Great stuff Voo, as always.

So fitting you were there for this record match, almost a wink from Mr Destiny.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudygirl View Post
Most people with seats on thursday sat on the court from 10 and watched the 2 wta matches first.
Yes, I could sit on Thursday as well, there were free places at 11 o'clock when I came to the grounds but didn't expect that ridiculous crowd an hour before the resumption...
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:39 PM   #13
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Voo, what would MTF do without you? Thank you so much for your detailed report and the included stuff

It's great that you attended this match live. People on GM already wondered in the match threads about you and your reaction to this match Probably not that many knew that you would witness this historical match live.

Please consider yourself goodrepped as I unfortunately have to spread reputation around first
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:45 PM   #14
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

I was thinking of you during this match and I'm delighted that you were actually there to witness it!

I recorded a fair bit of the match, most of the fourth set and from 15-15 to the end, it took 5 dvds to get it off the recorder! I uploaded the last two games and the ceremony if anyone would like it
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CQB7IHK0
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: The match of the century: J.Isner def. N. Mahut (Wimbledon 2010, 1st RD)

Again Voo.. you are my MTF hero

And now to slowly read and learn
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