- Wimbledon, Day Four
Isner wins never-ending match
John Isner sealed his place in the history books after triumphing in a three-day marathon, beating Nicolas Mahut in a record-breaking match lasting over 11 hours at Wimbledon.
In the ultimate battle of both physical and mental resilience, it was Mahut who cracked first as Isner finally wrapped up an exhausting 6-4 3-6 6-7(7) 7-6(3) 70-68 victory after 11 hours and five minutes on court.
After the players had traded blows for two days, play resumed for a third time on Thursday with the two deadlocked on 59-59 in the final set.
In a match that had rewritten the history books for longest set, longest match and most number of serves, it was Isner who finally grabbed his chance, and sealed an historic victory with a commanding backhand passing shot.
"I'm a little bit tired," Isner joked after a match in which he served 112 aces, smashing the previous record of 78. "But you know when you come out and play a match like this, in an atmosphere like this, you don't feel tired out here, even though that's exactly what we both were. This crowd was fantastic.
"What can you say? The guy is an absolute warrior. I know it stinks that someone had to lose but to be able to share this day with him is an absolute honour."
Isner will now meet Thiemo de Bakker in the second round, while his exhausted opponent was gracious in defeat.
"At this moment it is really painful but like John said it was just amazing to play today, the crowd the last three days were just amazing," Mahut said. "John deserved the win, he served unbelievably, I don't know how many aces he did, but he's a champion.
"It was an honour to play the greatest match ever at the best place to play tennis, Wimbledon is the greatest tournament."