Friday, 25 June 2010

Wimbledon 2010

Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said that “a week is a long time in politics".

In tennis, too.

Just four short days ago, at the start of Wimbledon 2010, the record for the longest singles match was a golden oldie from 41 years ago – played out on his day in London history, 1969.

A men's singles match. And some men's singles match it was. A five act epic. The longest men's singles match ever. Scoreboard – at the end – looked like this: 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. The vanquished? Charlie Passarell. The victor? Who else but the incomparable Pancho Gonzalez.

As a record it had a good, long run in the record books – until 24th June 2010, to be precise, when American John Isner overcame Nicolas Mahut of France 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (7-3) 70-68 in the longest match in history, taking 11 hours and five minutes over three days.

Make sure to come back to the LW Blog on 25th June 2051 to see if the record still stands.

Back to Harold Wilson – who was in the Prime Minister’s hot seat for that tennis match 41 years ago – and another of his sporting quotes. “Do you notice?” he asked back in 1966, “We only ever win the World Cup under Labour.”

Will he be proven wrong this year?

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