10. Mathieu vs Isner
French Open 2012 2R (5 Hours and 41 Minutes)
Mathieu d. Isner: 6-7 6-4 6-4 3-6 18-16
The match was held at the French Open 2012 and lasted for a total of 5 Hours and 41 minutes. Nicknamed by the media as Marathon Man, John Isner failed to win against Paul Henri Mathieu on the main Court Philippe Chartier.
No one expected Mathieu to win, as he was No. 261 seed, while his opponent Isner was the No. 10 seed. The match was explosive, ending with 18-16 for Mathieu. Mathieu had an injury in the previous season that made him miss all of his matches, landing a devastating blow to his ranking. However, he got it all together in time for the match against Isner. This was the 2nd longest match in terms of duration at the French Open, the first being the French Open 2004 1R between Santoro and Clément.
Nowadays, Mathieu climbed up the ranking, reaching rank 80, however his highest career-point was back in 2008 when he got to the singles ranking of No 8 in the World! On the other hand, John Isner, although losing against Mathieu in this remarkable match, achieved his highest singles ranking of No. 9 in the World back in April 2012. He’s regarded as one of the best servers of the ATP World Tour, and most likely will be featured in one of our future articles: Best Servers in Tennis.
9. Djokovic vs Nadal
Australian Open 2012 F (5 Hours and 53 Minutes)
Djokovic d. Nadal 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5
This was, indeed, an impressive final for the Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena. One of the most spectacular, hardest and probably the best Grand Slam finals up until that point lasted for almost full 6 hours. And it was between the two Tennis giants Djokovic and Nadal. Even more impressive, Djokovic was coming after another long match against Andy Murray not even 48 hours prior to the final, in a 4 Hours and 50 Minutes win.
Whenever these two Tennis masters fight each other, it’s one hell of a show. But to get to see them for almost 6 Hours, now that’s a treat. And this match had many breath-taking moments including the 32-stroke rally from the final set (at 5-4) which drew standing ovations from the crowd witnessing history.
Ranked No. 1 by the ATP at the moment, Djokovic is a Serbian living legend. Considered by many as the greatest tennis player to have ever lived, he’s currently coached by former German tennis player Boris Becker (former Wimbledon champ). Djokovic’s road is not yet over and it will be interesting to see if any of the Newcomers in Tennis can handle him: http://6toplists.com/top-7-newcomers-in-tennis/.
8. Stepanek vs Karlovic
Davis Cup 2009 SF (5 Hours and 59 Minutes)
Stepanek d. Karlovic 6-7 7-6 7-6 6-7 16-14
This match is not only famous for lasting almost 6 hours (missing 1 minute), but it is also the match when Ivo Karlovic hit 78 aces (breaking his previous records of 51 in 2005 and 55 in 2009). Karlovic held on to the world record until the Isner-Mahut match broke his record, Isner hitting 113 aces and Mahut 103.
After an exhausting match for both of the players, Stepanek managed to come out victorious and advance as Czech Republic to the finals. However, the finals were one sided in favor of Spain, which had Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco as members.
“I have no words right now, it was like a lottery and I managed to seize my chances,” was Stepanek’s reaction after his win against Karlovic. With his pride on the line, Stepanek added: “It was a long and exhausting match but when you play for your country it’s worth it. It wouldn’t matter if it lasted for another few hours”.
Before getting surpassed by Samuel Groth in 2012, Karlovic held the world record of the fastest serve ever recorded in professional tennis, serve going at 251 km/h. On the other hand, Stepanek’s highest ranking ,so far, are is his singles world-ranking No. 8 as well as climbing up to No. 4 for the doubles ranking.
7. Skoff vs Wilander
Davis Cup 1989 QF (6 Hours and 4 Minutes)
Skoff d. Wilander 6-7 7-6 1-6 6-4 9-7
The Horst Skoff vs Mats Wilander match was held for the Davis Cup Quarter Finals back in 1989. The total duration of the match was 6 Hours and 4 Minutes. The outstanding result of this match was that Skoff actually managed to beat Wilander, a true legend of tennis. Wilander, although retired at the moment, was once ranked No. 1 in the World and won seven Grand Slams singles titles between 1982 and 1988 as well as a Grand Slam men’s doubles titles.
Wilander is a moderator on Eurosport and is considered by many the best on Eurosport when it comes to analyzing tennis at the Grand Slams.
Wilander is part of the unique category of tennis players that have won Grand Slams on grass courts, hard courts and clay courts (the other four are: Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer). Unfortunately, Skoff has passed away on 7th June 2008, at the early age of 39. Skoff’s titles in tennis were not outstanding, yet hard to achieve: the ATP Athens Open in 1988, the Vienna Open in 1988, the ATP Geneva in 1990 and the Swedish Open held in 1993 at Båstad.