The Longest Point in the History of Professional Tennis - 29 minutes, 643 shots

This week marks the 25th anniversary of an historic tennis match.  At a Virginia Slims tournament in 1984, Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner exchanged 643 shots; it remains the longest single rally in the history of professional tennis.

The 6-hour-31-minute marathon was itself the longest match in tennis history for nearly 20 years and remains the longest match completed on a single day.

The rally that put Nelson-Dunbar and Hepner in the record books came at set point for Hepner, who was ahead, 11-10, in the second-set tie breaker, which lasted 1:47 on its own...

Hugh Waters, a former tennis coach and the owner of the Raintree club, remembered: “I had a lot of people coming up to me at the tournament saying the match was ridiculous, but I always jumped on them. It takes guts to do what they did.  “People don’t understand the mental aspect of the game: this was a battle of wills and real tennis fans like me could appreciate it.”

Among the astonishing elements to the match was this: If Hepner had won the epic rally, she would have forced a third set, and who knows how long the match might have lasted.

Link, via Metafilter.

Photo: Jean Hepner (L) in 1985 and Vicki Nelson Dunbar (R) in 1987.

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Longest Point in the History of Professional Tennis - 29 minutes, 643 shots"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More