Double the Fun
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
At a time when tennis officials continue to call for shorter doubles matches, it was a pleasure to witness a full crowd on Court 2 enjoying the longest doubles match – or singles match, for that matter – in Wimbledon history.
It took Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor two days to defeat Simon Aspelin and Todd Perry, but defeat them they did, 5-7, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3, 23-21, after saving six match points. The match lasted six hours and nine minutes, longer than any match in Wimbledon history and second longest among professional doubles matches (in the 2002 Davis Cup semifinal, David Nalbandian and Lucas Arnold defeated Marat Safin and Yevgeny Kafelnikov 19-17 in the fifth set after six hours and 20 minutes).
When the teams stopped Tuesday evening, the score was 11-11 in the fifth set. Knowles and Nestor broke early yesterday, but immediately gave the break back. Knowles said the match got to the point where he was wondering whether they could “arm wrestle or can we do something else just to end this, play twoon-two hoops or something.”
Knowles put them ahead a final break with a backhand cross-court. He then served out the match at love.
Knowles and Nestor are seeded third here, and next face Bob and Mike Bryan, who are in search of their seventh consecutive Grand Slam doubles final. Wimbledon remains the only Grand Slam event the twins have not won. Knowles and Nestor hope to keep it that way.
“I think after a match like this, we’re gonna be pretty loose,” Nestor said.