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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Inevitably, the sequel didn’t live up to the original. Not even close.
The replay of the longest match in tennis history turned out to be a ho-hum Part II, with John Isner beating Nicolas Mahut in straight sets in two hours in the first round at Wimbledon.
It was a far cry from the 2010 epic, in which Isner triumphed 70-68 in the fifth set of a marathon that lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes and stretched over three days.
“Nothing’s going to live up to that match,” the American said after winning Tuesday’s contest 7-6 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (6). “It wasn’t going to go that long.”
On a day featuring Serena Williams’ tears of joy after her long-awaited return to Grand Slam tennis and convincing wins by Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Isner and Mahut faced each other again on the grass of the All England Club where they made history last year.
But it was all straightforward and mainly one-sided this time. It finished after 2 hours, 3 minutes, with Mahut sailing a forehand long on the second match point. This match lasted 9 hours, 2 minutes and 149 games less than the original.
“Everything was different,” Mahut said. “It’s another year, another match, another tournament.”