It had all of the makings of a return to 2010’s Longest Match: John Isner, a Grand Slam, a Frenchman and rapidly diminishing light.
At Wimbledon, John Isner came out ahead, defeating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth, after a record 11 hours, 5 minutes spread out over three days.
After the match Isner told the crowd, “You know, it stinks someone had to lose.”
This time around, though, Paul Henri Mathiew brought Philippe Chartrier to its feet with a win that was five hours, 41 minutes in the making. The final score: 6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16.
“It’s more disappointing on how I lost it,” Isner said. “For whatever, six hours, [I was] really not doing what I should be doing. I just couldn’t free myself up the whole match, so I just — he’s a good player, and he was better than me today. He deserved to win.”
Said Mathieu: “At the end of the match, I didn’t even believe that the match was done. You played this long, yeah. I didn’t even realize the match was finished.”
One thing Isner is more than likely thankful for this time around is a lack of blisters. After 2010’s marathon, Isner suffered from raw feet and commented on a “gnarly” blister on his big toe that bled through his sock.
Not a win for the big man, but definitely a winning effort.