Marathon man Nicolas Mahut has given his version of the extraordinary match he and John Isner played at Wimbledon last year in a new book entitled The Match of my Life.
The Frenchman was on the losing end of a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/3), 70-68 defeat to the giant American in the longest tennis ever match in the history of tennis at 11 hours and five minutes spread over three days. In particular, Mahut gives an insight into how he coped mentally with having to hold his serve 64 straight times to stay in the match. The two players have become close friends since then and the legendary match has been analysed and discussed throughout the world.
Mahut even donated the shirt, shorts and one of the shoes he wore that day to be put on display at the Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport, Rhode Island.
The match started on the second day of the tournament. Four sets into the match, it was stopped due to bad light with the score at two sets each.
Play resumed on 23 June, and it became the longest match ever. The match was suspended for a second time in the evening at 59–59 in the fifth set despite chants of “We want more” from the spectators. Mahut and Isner slept for less than four hours before arising for the next day’s match.
The match was resumed on 24 June, and after 65 minutes of play, Isner won the deciding final set, 70–68.