no pain no gain

Will to win: Four more epic tennis encounters

Because watching Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal go at it hammer and tongs, only made us want more classic tennis.

IN CASE YOU’VE been hiding under a rock with your fingers in your ears over the past 24 hours or so, you’ll know that Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the longest ever Grand Slam final yesterday.

So, in honour of their Trojan efforts we’ve dug out four more epic tennis encounters, but first off here is a reminder of the physical condition these guys were in after almost six hours of incredible exertion.

As Thomas Oh, some big-wig from the tournament sponsor, makes the most out of his moment in the spotlight; the two guys who really matter are enduring excruciating pain as they cramp up fast. Eventually after three unbearable minutes, chairs and water are finally brought out for the deserving gladiators.

YouTube credit: alekohr

Now, onto tennis history’s other epic encounters:

1. Ivan Lendl v Mats Willander, 1987 US Open final.

The previous longest Grand Slam final lasted 4 hours and 47 minutes, and it only had four sets! A quick check of the scoring – 6–7 (7–9), 6–0, 7–6 (7–4), 6–4 - reveals the first and third set tie-breaks probably did the damage.

Notice when it was all over, there was no shirt-ripping antics. Oh no, there was a bit of decorum in them days.

YouTube credit: flyguga

2. Francesca Schiavone v Svetlana Kuznetsova, 2011 Australian Open fourth round.

The longest women’s match in Grand Slam history came in just three minutes shy of Lendl’s marathon. There must be something in the water round Melbourne because it’s just over a year since Schiavone took 4 hours and 44 minutes to see of Kuznetsova 6 -4, 1-6 (16-14).

Schiavone was so drained at the end it looks like Kuznetsova came close to knocking her over when they hugged across the net.

YouTube credit: australianopentv

3. John Isner v Nicolas Mahut, 2010 Wimbledon first round.

Of course, Wimbledon match times should always have an asterisk beside them oweing to the frequent weather breaks, but as this match was stretched across the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th of June; I’m willing to let them slide in and steal the longest match record at 11 hours and five minutes.

I guess they both really, really wanted to get into the second round.

YouTube credit: hockeychapals

4. Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer, 2008 Wimbledon final.

If this match deserves an asterisk then it’s only because it was the best ever played. The longest Wimbledon final was 4 hours and 48 minutes of Federer at his peak being matched stride for stride by Nadal.

Having lost the previous two finals, the Spaniard was ready to show the world he was a true great no matter what surface you put him on. Here’s the last game in full.

YouTube credit: GrassTennisMatches

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