Frenchman wild card holder Paul-Henri Mathieu and 10th seed American John Isner set a French Open record of most games played after the Frenchman defeated Isner in a 5 hours and 41 minutes battle, winning 6-7 (2) 6-4 6-4 3-6 18-16 and moving into the third round of the 2012 Roland Garros.
With this 76 games marathon match, they surpassed the previous record of 72 games that was set since the tiebreaks introduction in 1973.
The all time record for most played games at Roland Garros happened in a 1957 encounter between Robert Mark of Australia and Antal Jancso of Hungary, when the match lasted an unbelievable 83 games.
Mathieu, who slipped in the world rankings to 261th place due to a knee injury last year, needed seven matchpoints to claim this spectacular victory. Although the big serving American Isner was visibly struggling with fatigue in the 5th set, he managed to save three matchpoints at 10-11 and a couple more at 14-15 when serving to stay in the match. Despite averting one more at 17-16 in Mathieu’s favour, he couldn’t stop the Frenchman from taking the 7th opportunity to end this battle as the Paris crowd jumped off their seats, giving both players a well deserved standing ovation.
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