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The 11-hour tennis match
After an almost ludicrously prolonged battle, John Isner bested Nicolas Mahut in the first round at Wimbledon. Watch the match's historic conclusion
Isner celebrates after winning the longest tennis match in Grand Slam history.
Isner celebrates after winning the longest tennis match in Grand Slam history.
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n the longest match in tennis history — 11 hours and five minutes, spread out over three days — American John Isner finally triumphed over his French opponent, Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon today. After the match, which lasted into the 138th game of the fifth set, Isner called Mahut an "absolute warrior" for hanging on as long as he did. Astonished commentators were riveted: "This is not a tennis match. It is a fight," says Kevin Mitchell at  The Guardian, a remarkable and historic event to witness, the two players "like Ali and Frazier, and like long-ago brutish prizefighters — eternally entwined now." That said, adds Marc Peyser at Newsweek, "let's pause" to consider the poor fans in the stands: "Who has the patience to sit still for that long anymore?" Watch the final, exhausted volley below:

 

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