Posts Tagged ‘Nicolas Mahut


USA wins the cup, but Nicolas Mahut steals the show!

The United States remains well and truly the most successful Hyundai Hopman Cup nation with the team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner claiming their sixth victory inside Perth’s Burswood Dome in front of a crowd of 8564 people. The USA team came into Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII unseeded but played outstanding tennis all week dominating Group B beating France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Nicolas Mahut 3-0, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and Potito Starace 2-1 and Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray 3-0. Mattek-Sands and Isner took on the Belgium team of Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans in the Final after they replaced the Serbian team of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic when Ivanovic suffered a slight stomach tear.

”It’s been an amazing week. It’s my first time in Perth and I’ve really enjoyed myself. It’s funny, I saw this (diamond tennis ball trophy) actually when I first got here and I thought it was the best trophy in sports,” Mattek-Sands said. ”This is one of the best run events of the WTA Tour of the year. It’s fantastic. There was a really strong field this year, there was great players; Ana, Justine, Djokovic, Hewitt. I hope everyone enjoyed watching some great tennis this week.” Isner made his debut at last year’s Hopman Cup and was delighted to return, and to partner Mattek-Sands to form a winning team. He was also happy to bounce back from a tough loss to Murray. ”I’ve got to thank Bethanie; her back’s got to be hurting from carrying me all week. She was rock solid all week long,” Isner said.


France puts GB out of the Hopman Cup!

Great Britain’s hopes of winning the Hopman Cup ended with defeat for Andy Murray and Laura Robson in the decisive mixed doubles rubber against France. Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic won 6-4 6-2 to give France the tie 2-1.

Robson had earlier lost the opening singles rubber 6-4 3-6 6-0 to Mladenovic, before Murray battled past Mahut 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5). Britain will take on the United States in their last Group B match on Friday but cannot now qualify for the final. The Americans have won both their ties so far, while Britain have a 1-1 record after losing to Italy in their opener.

Robson, 16, had been defeated in straight sets by French Open champion Francesca Schiavone on Monday but made a strong start against 17-year-old Mladenovic with an early break. Robson cut an increasingly frustrated figure as she saw four break points slip by in a 13-minute game at 2-1 in the second, and a 0-40 lead disappear at 4-3, but after Mladenovic went long on the fourth break point of the game it came down to a deciding set. Robson could not complete the comeback, however, and Mladenovic stormed through the final six games to wrap up an impressive victory.

It came down to the mixed doubles and a heavy fall for Mahut at deuce in game three did not bode well for the French, but after getting his ankle taped he came straight out and helped force the first break on Robson’s serve. The French pair served out the set and, after losing a 2-0 lead at the start of the second, regained the advantage in game five thanks to some blistering hitting from Mladenovic. Britain reached the final 12 months ago but their hopes of going one better effectively ended when Robson dropped serve again and Mahut served out confidently to set up a crunch match on Friday between France and Italy. “I don’t think we played too badly, I thought they played really well,” said Robson. “We had a tough one on Monday so hopefully we can win one on Friday.” Asked how he was feeling after two matches in quick succession, Murray said: “I’m a little bit stiff and sore but that’s to be expected, I’ve been off court for five or six weeks and the body’s feeling it a little bit.” The US earlier beat Italy 2-1 after Bethanie Mattek-Sands stunned world number seven Francesca Schiavone 6-4 6-4, and John Isner beat Potito Starace 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4.


Mahut to replace Monfils at 2011 Hopman Cup.

Perth tennis fans had better prepare for a long day when Nicolas Mahut, replacing the injured Gael Monfils in the French team, takes on American John Isner in a Hopman Cup match on January 3. With Monfils out of action for at least four weeks because of knee pain, Mahut will partner Kristina Mladenovic at the Jan 1-8 tournament, organisers said on Monday.

Isner beat Mahut in the world’s longest tennis match, a 183-game epic played over 11 hours and five minutes with the fifth set decided 70-68, in the first round of this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles championship. Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee is among those seeking another marathon battle. “That Wimbledon match was an epic in every sense of the word, so it will long be remembered,” McNamee said. “But I am now looking forward to watching these guys battle it out in Perth.”

Monfils was disappointed after being told by a doctor to skip the mixed teams event. “I was looking forward to participating in the Hopman Cup for the first time,” he said. “I sincerely hope that I will have the opportunity to play there in the near future.”


The best of 2010?

Columnist Mark Staniforth dishes out the gongs to those who have impressed most over the course of a topsy-turvy 2010:


Nadal’s hat-trick of grand slam titles left him head and shoulders above the rest – and when the rest includes Roger Federer, that is quite an awesome achievement. Nadal dominated the European clay-court season heading into Roland Garros where he seized revenge over Robin Soderling in dramatic fashion. Wimbledon was a breeze, and by the time he triumphed at Flushing Meadows, Nadal seemed nigh on invincible.


Caroline Wozniacki may have ended the year at number one but her failure to reach a grand slam final spoke volumes for her inability to wrest control of a women’s game minus the injury-stricken Serena Williams. By contrast, Russian Vera Zvonareva reached two. She may have lost both times, but the immensely likeable 26-year-old showed plenty of fighting qualities the women’s game generally still sadly lacks.


Another no-brainer: tennis will never see another match quite like John Isner’s Wimbledon clash with Nicolas Mahut, which lasted 11 hours and five minutes spread over three days, and consisted of 183 games, after the last of which Isner earned victory 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68. Straight after the match, both players were presented with crystal bowls to commemorate their achievements.


The returning Justine Henin was involved in some mini-epics at the start of the year but for sheer drama it was hard to beat Sam Stosur’s French Open quarter-final win over world number one Serena Williams. Stosur recovered from match point down at 5-4 in the deciding set and kept her nerve to serve out for an 8-6. Stosur went on to the final, where she lost to Francesca Schiavone.


In many respects it was the year that wasn’t, as none of the likes of Marin Cilic, Ernests Gulbis, John Isner or even Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych quite managed to muscle into top-level contention. Lower down the scale, former junior star Grigor Dimitrov continued to make promising progress, winning three successive summer Challengers and finishing the year ranked 114.


Petra Kvitova’s swashbuckling run to the Wimbledon semi-finals – beating the likes of Victoria Azarenka and Caroline Wozniacki before pushing Serena Williams in a memorable first set – marked her out as a star of the future. Her post-Wimbledon form was not up to much, but third-round runs at Flushing Meadows and in Beijing suggest the 20-year-old has the stomach to shine on the big occasions.


It was too bad that someone had to lose…..

John Isner finally brought an end to the longest match in tennis history on Thursday as he broke the serve of Nicolas Mahut to secure a 70-68 victory in the deciding set of their first-round Wimbledon encounter.

After 11 hours and five minutes on Court 18 and with a raft of records having been broken, 23rd seed Isner found two crucial winners to break the resistance of the Frenchman in the 138th game of a remarkable set.

The pair first walked on court on Tuesday, and Isner – who hit 112 aces in the match – secured a 6-4 3-6 6-7 (7/9) 7-6 (7/3) 70-68 triumph to bring the curtain down on one of the most remarkable episodes in the history of the All England Club.

Upon the completion of the match – and a final set that lasted eight hours and 11 minutes – the All England Club announced the two players and match umpire were to be presented with awards to mark their achievement.

Both players appeared to be spent forces at the end of the gruelling encounter, but received their mementoes with good grace before being asked to reflect on the match.

Isner said of his vanquished opponent: “The guy’s an absolute warrior. It stinks someone had to lose.

“To share this with him was an absolute honour. Maybe we’ll meet again somewhere down the road and it won’t be 70-68.”

Mahut was gracious in defeat, admitting that despite the gruelling nature of the contest it had been a tussle savoured by both men.

“At this moment I’m just really thankful. It was amazing today,” Mahut said.

“John deserved to win. He served unbelievable, he’s a champion.

“It was really an honour to play the greatest match ever at the greatest place for tennis. It was very long but I think we both enjoyed it.”


McEnroe, “I’m amazed these guys are still standing!”

John McEnroe applauds the record setting match…….

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut’s epic match on Court 18 is the greatest advertisement we’ve ever had for our sport beyond the spectacle of a Wimbledon final like Roger Federer versus Rafa Nadal.

I’m so proud, I must say, to be part of this great game and see those guys perform physically.

We don’t get enough respect at times and our respect level is going to go way up because of this.

I am looking at Mahut, thinking he has played the entire day and the match has taken 10 hours, and he looks like he’s in the second or third set.

I’m amazed those guys are still standing.

Isner looks like he’s ready to fall, he’s completely done and yet he still had the will to keep this thing going.

I would love to see the game resume on Centre Court on Thursday.

It would be a sign of respect for the two of them to get out there and have a moment that the entire stadium would appreciate before Andy Murray plays.

The balance of power now sits with Mahut because he seems physically fresher.

John is running on fumes but he is also able, at his height, just to arm it and win points on his serve.

Perhaps one of the guys might not even be able to play.

They are unbelievably conditioned mentally and physically but this is going to take six months out of their careers.

I have got a feeling that they may eventually change the rules now – they should do.

This is great and wonderful, they have broken every record there is to break but there should be a limit.

I would do it at six-all in the fifth and decide on the tie-breaker because you have to win that by two.

But this is amazing for our sport.

John McEnroe was talking on BBC Two’s Today at Wimbledon


The Queen should confirm Knighthood on these guys on Thursday!

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut tore up the record books at Wimbledon as their epic first-round contest became the longest in tennis history.

The match was locked at 59-59 in the final set after 10 hours of play when it was suspended because of bad light.

The match just went on and on and on, with no end in sight. Isner managed to find enough energy to serve, but not much else, however the serve was all he really needed.

The time of the match has demolished the previous record – a six-hour and 33-minute clash between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement at the 2004 French Open.

It has also seen both men beat the previous record for most aces in a match by one player.

Ivo Karlovic’s tally of 78 had been set during a Davis Cup tie last year, but Isner currently holds the new record with 98.

The serve-dominated contest was initially halted by fading light on Tuesday evening with the score at two sets all – 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) 6-7 (3/7) – Isner having won the fourth-set tie-break to keep the match alive.

However, that was only the start of things for the final set would last longer itself than the previous longest match ever.

With no breaks of serve since the second set, the pattern of serve domination continued.

They will return tomorrow for a third try to finish their match.

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