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1960s / Gonzales-Pasarell 1969 Wimbledon Marathon
Before the advent of tiebreakers in tennis, every set needed to be played until one player had won six games with at least a two-game advantage. In the first round of the 1969 Wimbledon tourney, Pancho Gonzales and former NCAA champ Charlie Pasarell needed more than five hours and 112 games to decide a winner in a match spread over two days (June 25 and 26). Here is five minutes of terrific video from that match with original BBC commentary by Dan Maskell. After dropping the first set 22-24, the 41-year-old Gonzales, who was hot-tempered, was irked when play wasn't suspended due to impending darkness. He basically tanked the second set. Nevertheless, Gonzales rallied to win in five sets the next day. The final score was 22-24, 1-6, 16-14, 6-3, 11-9. The 112 games played in a single men's match stood as a Wimbledon record for 41 years. (Note that the electric scoreboard could not handle set scores in the twenties. It shows Pasarell winning the opening set 4-2 instead of 24-22.)