Posted Jul 31, 2012By
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The longest set in Olympic history was played at Wimbledon on Tuesday when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France defeated Milos Raonic of Canada 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the second round.
Tsonga leaped and roared when he won on his fourth match point with a drop volley. Raonic congratulated Tsonga with a smile at the net after the match, which lasted 3 hours, 57 minutes.
“This is the only way for me to write my name in history at the moment,” Tsonga said, referring to the domination of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at major tournaments.
“It’s good for tennis and it’s good for sports,” he said of the record.
The previous record in men’s singles was 30 games in 2004 when Fernando Gonzalez defeated Taylor Dent in the third set, 16-14, to win the bronze medal. The third set of a women’s doubles match in 1988 went to 20-18.
The longest set in tennis history also was played at the All England Club — in 2010 when John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in the first round of Wimbledon.
“It’s difficult to play the other guy because his serve is perfect,” Tsonga said. “I’m pretty happy with the way I played because it was not easy for me.”
Raonic said he was on the “wrong side” of Olympic history, but was generally pleased with his progress on the big stages of tennis.
“I’ve been sort of knocking on the door,” he said. “Hopefully, next time around, I can just kick it down.”
The contest between Tsonga and Raonic also had the most number of games — 66 — in a best-of-three-set match at the Olympics. The previous record was 63 from that 1988 women’s doubles match.
Tennis was not played at the Olympics between 1924 and 1988.
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