John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have made history and got into the record books for playing the longest game of tennis ever recorded.
They started playing yesterday on day 2 of the 2010 Wimbledon Competition and today after a gruelling 10 hours of play they were still locked at 59 games all in their final set. Play stopped due to bad light (also called night).
The final set began at about 2pm this afternoon (23rd June 2010) and the game had been going for 7 hours before, the sunset meant end of play for the day.
The length of the game is not the only record that John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have broken. They have both now broken the previous record for the most number of aces hit in a tennis match, John Isner is now on 98 aces and and Nicolas Mahut on 95 aces, easily beating the previous record of 78 that was set by Ivo Karlovic last year in the David Cup.
John Isner is a 25 year old American from Greensboro in North Carolina. He started playing tennis when he was 11 years old, and is now currently ranked number 10 in the World and the second best American at the moment just behind Andy Roddick.
Isner had an excellent college tennis career before going profession. He played collegiate tennis at the University of Georgia from 2004 to 2007 and managed to break the college record for most wins in both singles and doubles. This earned him an All-American honors in each of his four years at Georgia. He also represented Georgia in the 2007 NCAA championship. John Isner has only been playing professionally for 3 years.
Nicolas Mahut is a 28 year old French player. He specialises in doubles and has a strong serve. He has had some great success on the court, beating Rafael Nadal and Ivan Ljubičić in 2007. He reached his highest seed in 2008, ranked 40th.
Nicolas Mahut had a successful junior career in France winning the Champion of France for both 15-16 year olds and then again for 17-18 year olds. He was also the boys singles winner in Wimbledon 2000.
2009 was a bad year for Nicolas Mahut as some injuries meant that his performance dropped and his rankings followed. He was no longer in the top 100 players for that year.
It is for matches like this that professional tennis players have to ensure that their fitness levels are extremely high. Tennis fitness requires endurance training and hours on the court practising are the key to winning through such a physically and mentally draining game.
They will continue tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn to get a full day of play on before their supper in the evening.