The opening day of The Championships 2010 started with the usual sense of excitement. The weather was surprisingly sunny and matches were progressing well. What began to unfold on the second day, however, defied any expectations and created two unlikely Wimbledon heroes.
At 6.13pm on Tuesday 22nd June, two players walked out onto Court 18 ready to play their first-round singles match; the American John Isner and the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.
The match started off with ease. Isner took the first set 6-4, followed by Mahut taking the next two 3-6, 6-7(7), and Isner taking back the fourth set 7-6(3). At 9.07pm, the match was suspended until the next day. At 2.05pm the next day, the fifth and final set started. Point after point was scored with neither player relinquishing the prospect of winning. At 5.45pm, the match officially became the longest one in tennis history with the score standing at 32-32.
Spectators were captivated. The match was so intense that the scoreboard decided it couldn’t take the excitement any longer and stopped working when the score hit 47-47!
Matches from the major show courts were taken off the big screen on the hill and replaced by the action on Court 18. At 9.09pm, the match was once again suspended until the next day. The score at his point stood at 59-59.
How did the players maintain their energy? Andy Roddick is said to have delivered three boxes of pizza and mashed potatoes to Isner!