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Isner and Mahut in world record marathon tennis match

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • John Isner and Nicolas Mahut set world record in marathon tennis match at Wimbledon
  • The match is the longest in terms of time at 10 hours and also games contested
  • Isner and Mahut tied at 59 games all in fifth and final set when bad light stopped play
  • Isner has set world record of 98 aces with Mahut powering down 95

(CNN) -- John Isner of the United States and his French opponent Nicolas Mahut made tennis history at Wimbledon on Wednesday as they contested the longest grand slam singles match of all time -- and it is still to be finished.

It was called off for the day due to bad light at 59 games all in the fifth and deciding set after 10 hours of action on Court 18 at the All England Club.

During the marathon fifth set, the pair surpassed the previous record of six hours and 33 minutes set at the 2004 French Open, when Fabrice Santoro beat fellow Frenchman Arnaud Clement 6-4 6-3 6-7 3-6 16-14.

The duration of the fifth set alone, currently standing at seven hours and six minutes, beat the previous record.

The giant Isner has also set a world record for aces in a match, sending down 98 with Mahut notching up 95.

Nothing like this will ever happen again, ever
--John Isner
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"Nothing like this will ever happen again, ever," said a visibly shattered Isner.

"I don't know what to say."

Isner had match point at 59-58, but Mahut saved it with an ace and went on to level again.

Match officials then called the game off at 9:10 pm local time although Isner wanted to play on.

Mahut, who had appeared the less tired, said: "We played for too long, I don't know how many hours we played."

The first round match had been stopped the previous night due to bad light and had still not been finished 24 hours later.

It was watched by a crowd of less than 800 on the outside court, but as news spread of the incredible final set, fans and players gathered around to attempt to catch a glimpse of one of the most remarkable matches in sporting history.

Defending champion Roger Federer summed it up.

"This is beyond anything I've ever seen. It's absolutely amazing," he told gathered reporters.

"I have almost no words anymore watching this. I don't know how their bodies must be feeling. This is incredible tennis. Someone has to lose, but in this match both will be winners."

Tournament officials will have a headache on Thursday as both men are due to begin their third-round matches, if they can be eventually separated after their epic encounter which has so far stretched for 163 games.