Longest Tennis Matches in History: 2023 Edition

5 Jun 2023

What are the longest tennis matches in history? These players all showed an amazing amount of perseverance and determination to last the distance in these epic battles. 

Longest Tennis Matches in History

These matches are etched into the annals of tennis history because of how long they went. Lets take a look at the 10 longest professional tennis matches of all time.

10. Clerc vs. McEnroe (06:15)

Lasting a gruelling 6 hours and 15 minutes, Argentina’s Jose Luis Clerc and John McEnroe battled it out in one of the longest tennis matches in history during the 1980 Davis Cup Final. 

In a match which showcased sheer determination by both players, McEnroe's aggressive serve-and-volley game was contrasted by Clerc's tenacious baseline play. McEnroe took out the win 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 13-11 in an epic struggle. 

9. Arnold Ker/Nalbandian vs. Kaflnikov/Safin (06:20)

Lucas Arnold Ker and David Nalbandian of Argentina came up against Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin of Russia in a thrilling 2002 Davis Cup semi-final rubber. The Argentinian pair's great teamwork and shot-making skills was up against the formidable power game of the Russian duo. 

Despite Arnold Ker and Nalbandian walking away with an incredible 6–4, 6–4, 5–7, 3–6, 19–17 victory, it was the Russian’s who went on to win the tie and would beat France in the finals. 

8. Boris Becker vs. John McEnroe (06:21)

In a monumental clash between two titans of tennis, Boris Becker and John McEnroe battled it out in a match of monstrous rallies and shot-making, featuring Becker’s power service and aggressive play versus McEnroe’s tactical brilliance. 

Becker won the rubber 4–6, 15–13, 8–10, 6–2, 6–2 in an era before the tiebreak was introduced in one of the longest tennis matches in history in 6 hours and 21 minutes. 

7. John McEnroe vs. Mats Wilander (06:22)

John McEnroe makes the list again with another one of the longest tennis matches in history, this time against Swedish star Mats Wilander. The playing styles of the two were in complete contrast to each other with McEnroe’s fiery temperament and Wilander’s calm composure. 

In the 1982 Davis Cup quarterfinal between the United States and Sweden, McEnroe won the rubber 9–7, 6–2, 15–17, 3–6, 8–6 in a match lasting 6 hours and 22 minutes. The United States went on to win the tie 3-2 and went on to beat France in the finals. 

6. Vicki Nelson vs. Jean Hepner (06:31)

In the longest women’s singles match of all-time, Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner battled it out in a first-round clash during the 1984 Central Fidelity Banks International. Nelson beat Hepner 6–4, 7–6(13–11) in a match that lasted 6 hours and 31 minutes, 

Nelson’s powerful groundstrokes were just enough to beat Hepner’s defensive game. During the tiebreak, the pair fought a 29-minute, 643-shot rally, which remains the longest point played in professional tennis match and is beyond belief

5. Fabrice Santoro vs. Arnaud Clement (06:33)

Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement set a record for the longest match in French Open history in 2004 during their first-round matchup. The fellow countrymen battled it out on clay with Santoro countering Clement’s power groundstrokes and baseline play.

Santoro won one of the longest tennis matches in history, and what was the longest Open Era match at the time, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 3-6, 16-14 in 6 hours and 33 minutes. He went on an impressive run which ended in the fourth round.

4. Kevin Anderson vs. John Isner (06:36)

In the 2018 Wimbledon Championships, Kevin Anderson and John Isner played the longest semifinal in Grand Slam history in a 6 hour, 36-minute marathon. Both players smashed aces, endured through gruelling rallies, and showed remarkable athleticism.

Isner had a 110 consecutive service-hold streak broken by Isner during their match, and both players served 248 aces between them before they had met. Anderson prevailed 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-7(9), 6-4, 26-24 but went on to lose in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the final. 

3. Leonardo Mayer vs. João Souza (06:43)

In a Davis Cup encounter in 2015 between Argentina and Brazil, Leonardo Mayer and João Souza competed in an epic first round Davis Cup rubber with a display of powerful groundstrokes and intense rallies throughout the match.

Mayer won an extraordinary match 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–5), 5–7, 5–7, 15–13 which laid the platform for Argentina to win the tie 3-2. They went on to the semifinals where they went down to Belgium 3-2. 

2. Berdych/Rosol vs. Wawrinka/Chiudinelli (07:01)

One of the longest tennis matches in history, Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol battled Stan Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli in the first round of the 2013 Davis Cup. The Czech duo of Berdych and Rosol unleashed power groundstrokes, with the Swiss pair of Wawrinka and Chiudinelli countering with precision shots.

The marathon match lasted 7 hours and 1 minute, and was the longest Davis Cup match in history, with the Czech team prevailing 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7, 24-22 over team Switzerland. 

1. John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut (11:05)

In the most epic of encounters, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled it out in the longest tennis match in history during the first round of Wimbledon in 2010. In a battle that lasted 11 hours and 5 minutes, lasting across three days of play, Isner won 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68. 

The last set alone lasted 8 hours and 11 minutes, and it’s a record that's unlikely to ever be beaten following the introduction of the final set tie-break. There were a total of 183 games, 980 points and 215 aces. 

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This is incredible. Going that distance in any tennis match is awesome. One can only imagine what state they'd be in after such a gruelling match experience..
Wow. That’s is a phenomenal amount of time for one game of tennis. Imagine the toll that would have on their bodies with the winner being required to back up again and play the next game. Talk about a tennis marathon.