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  • Isner, Mahut set for rematch of Wimbledon marathon

    6/20/11 10:44 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Mahut set for rematch of Wimbledon marathon Wimbledon legends John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will be going head-to-head in the first round for a second straight season when they take the court on Tuesday. In 2010, they produced the longest match in the history of tennis.

    To infinity...and now beyond.

    In the 2010 Wimbledon first round, the career paths of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut collided on Court 18 at the All-England Club and the result was a shakeup of tennis history. Isner and Mahut played the longest match ever, needing 11 hours and five minutes across three days to separate the two competitors.

    When the spectacle came to a mesmerizing end on Thursday--two days after round one was supposed to be finished--Isner was the last man standing (actually, he also collapsed on the grass when it ended) with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68 victory.

    One year later, a shocking development took place at Friday's draw ceremony. Isner and Mahut were drawn to play each other again in the first round, and the rematch of all rematches will take place on Tuesday.

    While the 2010 epic thrust both men into instant fame, it did nothing for their tennis. Isner, who was seeded 23rd at this time last year and is now nowhere close to a seed, was up and down for the rest of the season and has slumped throughout 2011. His record stands at a disappointing 10-13, but the 6'9'' American showed signs of life--especially with his baseline game--in a five-set loss to Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

    Mahut's ranking has been going in the right direction since last summer; he was 148th in the world during the marathon match and now registers inside the Top 100 at No. 94. That being said, his slow rise has not come without physical problems. The 29-year-old Frenchman struggled with a back injury later in 2010 and is currently dealing with a case of knee tendinitis. Mahut recently admitted that he is far from 100 percent heading into Tuesday's battle.

    Still, Mahut looked decent at Queen's Club and in 's-Hertogenbosch earlier this month. He advanced one round at each event, taking out Adrian Mannarino last week at the UNICEF Open before falling to eventual champion Dmitry Tursunov in a tight three-setter. Isner, meanwhile, has not played since his impressive first-round display at Roland Garros.

    As last season confirmed, both of these guys wield massive serves and the result should be another competitive contest on the grass courts of Wimbledon. Anything in the realm of the 2010 marathon is highly unlikely, especially with Mahut reeling, but this should be one of the more entertaining first-round affairs. Look for Isner to prevail again, this time in four sets.

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Comments

For all tennis fans from Georgia, last year's match was just an all time epic....can't wait to see the 2011 rematch! Scoot from Atl.

scoot , 6/21/11 3:42 AM


Oh no, just checked score 6, 6 first set :( Wake me up when it's over.....;)

deuce , 6/21/11 8:08 PM


Phew!

deuce , 6/21/11 9:40 PM


Isner won in straight sets. A damp squib of a rematch!

holdserve , 6/21/11 9:41 PM


...so much work and effort to fix the draw for this???

zare , 6/22/11 12:53 AM



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