John Isner and Nicolas Mahut won the ESPY Award for Best Record-Breaking Performance for their marathon match at Wimbledon, beating out fellow nominees Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Brett Favre and the Connecticut Womenâ€™s Basketball team.
Isner accepted the award from gold medalists Lindsey Vonn and Shaun White on Wednesday evening at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, and immediately paid tribute to the Frenchman.
â€œFirst off, I gotta say congrats to my opponent Nicolas,â€ said Isner, who won after 11 hours and five minutes on court. â€œHe was an absolute warrior that day. You canâ€™t fathom a match going 70-68 in the fifth, but somehow we did it. It was a pleasure to share the court with him that day.â€
The 25-year-old American also thanked the fans, his team at Saddlebrook, and extended a special thanks to his trainer, Kyle Morgan. â€œWithout him, I wouldnâ€™t be able to last that long,â€ he said.
The first-round match stretched over three days, with the fifth set alone lasting eight hour and 11 minutes â€“ 98 minutes more than the previous longest match on record. It concluded just in time to make the ESPY Awards cut, with nominations announced that same day.
ESPY Award host Seth Meyers referred to the match in his opening monologue, joking, â€œBy the time the match ended, the ball boys were ball men.â€