A Top 10 seed was ousted on Wednesday at Wimbledon, but the big story was the match that never ends — reverberating around the world as the longest match ever in tennis — still not finished, as American John Isner and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut were suspended due to darkness for the second straight night, tied at 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(7), 6-7(3)…and this is no typo…59-59 in the fifth set.
The match has lasted 10 hours, with the fifth set lasting 7 hours and 6 minutes thus far, which alone is longer than any entire tennis match in history. Isner has 98 aces in the match, eclipsing the previous record of 78, and Mahut has 95 aces.
“He’s serving fantastic. I’m serving fantastic,” Isner said. “That’s really all there is to it.”
The match will go on for a third day on Thursday morning.
No. 7 seed Nikolay Davydenko was the lone seeded loser Wednesday, beaten by unheralded German Daniel Brands.
World No. 1 Roger Federer struggled yet again, this time against another player stepping out of the dark, Serb Ilia Bozoljac, who stretched the Swiss who eventually prevailed 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(5).
“It’s a good match for me to come out,” said Federer, taking it in stride. “I thought Bozoljac played great. He served amazing. It’s hard to get a read on his serve. He served clutch when he needed to. He was able to really play very dangerously also on the returns, even though I was never broken, which is a good thing for me. This easily could have gone five sets. Also could have gone straight sets, so obviously I’ll take the four sets any day.”
In other seeded play of note No. 3 Novak Djokovic fended off Taylor Dent in straights; No. 5 Andy Roddick did likewise against another net-rushing opponent, Michael Llodra in four sets; No. 28 Al Montanes survived a meeting with American Brendan Evans in five sets; and No. 29 Philipp Kohlschreiber outlasted Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili 9-7 in the fifth.
“I think 151 was one serve that he didn’t put in and 148 was the fastest,” said Djokovic of the big-serving Dent. “Yeah, it’s incredible. He had so many first serves over 140 miles. That’s gonna stay the dream for me to make it in my life ever.”
Among the few matches of note on Thursday at Wimbledon include (4) Andy Murray vs. Jarkko Nieminen, (2) Rafael Nadal vs. Dutchman Robin Haase, Fabio Fognini vs. “Iron” Mike Russell, and of course out on Court 18, Nicolas Mahut vs. John Isner to finish.
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