French tennis player Nicolas Mahut, 38, says he has overcome his historic 2010 Wimbledon defeat and he claims the epic match has helped in the rest of his career. In 2010, Mahut participated in the longest tennis match ever when he met American John Isner in the Wimbledon first round.
The big-serving American Isner edged out Mahut in a five-set thriller as he won 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7) 7-6 (3) 70-68. The match lasted 11 hours, five minutes and stretched over three days. "Today, not only did I overcome, but moreover, I realized that this match had brought me a lot in my career.
The pride of having played this match took precedence over the disappointment of having lost it. It is true that ten years ago it was quite painful. There was a real mismatch between what the observers (journalists, spectators or others) felt when watching this match, and the way I had experienced it.
There was a real contrast at the time. But today, I feel a lot of pride, and I know what this match brought me," Mahut told RTBF.
Nicolas Mahut says people still stop in the streets to talk about the match
It has been 10 years since the famous match went down at Wimbledon and Mahut admits more people know and recognize him since then.
"Everyday, no. But it's true that when I meet someone who is not a regular tennis player, who does not follow the Tour all the time, he associates my name directly with this match. And what's funny is that almost every time I talk about it, the person I'm speaking with tells me what he was doing at the time.
Almost 100%, they say 'oh yes, I remember, I was at the office or I was listening in my car, or I was at a barbecue with friends' They always associate the match with the precise moment when they watched it. I think it's revealing because, myself, as a supporter of other sports, I remember exactly when I watched the final of the World Cup for the French team, the first time.
For the sporting events that marked me, I remember what I was doing at that time. It's the same for people with my match. And it's quite fun," Mahut said. In 2016, Nicolas Mahut claimed his lone Wimbledon title when he teamed up with fellow compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert for the men's doubles event.