Thursday, September 24, 2009

One tennis rally: 643 shots, 29 minutes long

Think of the unbreakable records in sports. Cy Young's career victories mark. The Celtics - the hated Celtics - winning eight straight titles. UCLA's 88-game winning streak (and 10 titles in 12 seasons). Wilt averaging 50 a game. Wilt averaging (insert own joke here) after the games. Gretzky's record for points. 

There's an overlooked one, which I never even knew about until today. Longest point in professional tennis history. You're thinking maybe 60 shots. One hundred, tops.

The answer: 643. The point lasted 29 minutes. And this was a real match, not some David Blaine-esque stunt. Twenty-five years ago today, Vicky Nelson and Jean Hepner engaged in the...epic, ridiculous, disgraceful point. The New York Times revisited the match in a cool little story today. The match, which only went two sets, took six hours and 31 minutes to complete. The tiebreaker in the second set took an hour and 47 minutes. These numbers are more unfathomable than Cy Young's 511 victories.

A documentary needs to be made about this match.

Here's the Times story

1 comment:

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