Marathon man’s 2013 ends with marathon loss

The Grandstand

Thank goodness for final-set tiebreakers.

Perhaps that is exactly what Nicolas Mahut was thinking late in his second-round match against Gilles Simon at the BNP Paribas Masters on Wednesday afternoon. The two Frenchmen had been battling for almost three hours when Mahut held serve at 5-6 in the third set. But it didn’t go on forever. It ended–as did Mahut’s season–with Simon emerging victorious 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(3) after two hours and 59 minutes.

Same ol’, same ol’, you might be thinking.

Oh, but it isn’t. This is not the same Mahut who, along with John Isner, will always best known for a 2010 Wimbledon extravaganza that lasted 11 hours and five minutes before Isner finally prevailed…wait for it…70-68 in the fifth set. It took a while, but maybe—just maybe—Mahut is finally known for something other than being the Marathon Man.

It didn’t take long for Isner to map the…

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