The famous Tournoi de Roland-GarrosorFrench Open will start in a week. Given what happened in the previous two grandslams, it feels like we got a treat (and new records) coming our way.
What do we want on a sport final?
Not a one-way street obviously... Wewant a thriller, suspense, and excitement in such a degree that we can’t watchcertain moments of the game. If I tell you1998NBA Finals with Jordan, Pippen, Rodman’s the “unforgettabulls”, Galatasaray-ArsenalUEFA cup final, Usain BoltBeijing Olympics, Euro 2008 Turkey-Germany semifinal, you willunderstand what I mean...
Novakand Rafa after the 5hr53 min final of 2012 Australian open, longest tennis grand-slam-finalin history. They do not only set example with their work ethic, professionalismand competitive spirit, but also show true sportsmanship with their outmostrespect to each other. AP photo
Tennis is getting there in the currentera, creating that el clásico feeling more and more in recentyears. I am getting used to getting text messages on final days such as “thisis faster than play station!”, “i can’t watch it anymore” ...thanks to the bigfour (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray). They are raising the bar forthemselves, and raising our adrenaline on the couch!
Current competition gives the best bangfor the buck to the fans - the champions are getting fitter (physically &mentally) resulting in longer games. The champions of the current era, RafaNadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic broke the longest final records for thethree slams between them:
AustralianOpen 2012 Final – 5hr 53 min! (a total of 369 points played),
US Open 2011 Final– 4hr10min (352 points played),
Wimbledon2008 Final– 4hr48 min (413 points played).
Of course, we had other very long gamestoo:
2009 Wimbledon final between Roddickand Federer got 436 points (this is record in number of points, but not inminutes thanks to quicker points with big servers Roddick and Federer).
Del Potro – Federer final of US Open2012 was 4hr 19min.Federer - Djokovic semifinal from US open 2011 (which lastednearly 4 hrs) and Australian Open 2012 semifinal between Murray & Djokovic (thatlasted nearly 5 hrs). As a result, us lucky bunch, the tennis fans, had 50 minslonger grandslam-finals on average the past five years than the decade precedingthat.
Young MatsWilander, 18 at the time, was an unseeded player for 1982 French Open. He won thetournament beating Guillermo Vilas in 4hr42 minutes. That match is stilllongest final record for Roland-Garros. Maybe Mats will be commentating on his brokenrecord broken this year at his TV program, Eurosport’sGame, Set and Mats
So,that number crunch brings me to my big point…Theonly record not broken on longest grand slam finals in recent years is the Roland-Garrosone. The tournament is played on red clay, i.e, the slowest of all surfaces.The current longest game record on French Open finals is 20 years old (4hr 42mins). I don’t know who will break it, but looking at the way things are going,that record may not be long-lasting.
The record broken by these guys won’t beeasy to break. It was not in a final, but on a 1st round game in Wimbledon 2010between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. It lasted 11hr5min, played over threedays, longest tennis game in history. Yes, the one smiling, John Isner won.Isner hit 113 aces in that game (world record in a single match) and lost his matchafter without an ace 0-3. They took their time to break serve, as they heldtheir serve 168 games (84 games each)! Betterlate than never…
OlgayBuyukkayali is a recreational tennis player who is anRPTeurope-qualified-coach.