National Museum of American History Receives Record-Breaking Tennis Racquet

John Isner Donates Racquet from Three-Day Wimbledon Match
August 26, 2010
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has acquired John Isner’s tennis racquet from his record-breaking match against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. The racquet is one of four racquets that Isner used throughout the three-day match.

At 11 hours and five minutes, the Isner-Mahut match became the longest in the history of tennis, breaking the previous record of six hours and 33 minutes from a match at the 2004 French Open. The fifth set of Isner and Mahut’s match alone broke all previous records, as it accounted for more than eight hours of play. After five sets, the match also totaled 183 games played, shattering the previous record of 122 games set in 1973.

Isner, 25, also broke the record for number of aces struck in a Wimbledon match with 113 served. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia and is currently ranked 19th in the world, making him the second-ranked American player, behind Andy Roddick.

Isner’s tennis racquet will join the museum’s Sports Collection, which includes objects such as an autographed Babe Ruth baseball, Lance Armstrong’s 2002 Tour de France yellow jersey, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves and Arthur Ashe’s tennis racquet.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, check For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).