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One tennis point: 643 shots, 29 minutes long

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Small Town Guy, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    I'm a big tennis fan, but I had never heard of this. 25 years ago today, Vicky Nelson and Jean Hepner played a point that went for 643 shots and lasted 29 minutes. What? There was "a lot of lobbing."

    It was a real tournament, not a Guinness attempt. The match lasted SIX HOURS. And was two sets long. And if the woman who lost the epic point had won it - it was set point - the match would have gone to a third set and probably to nine hours.


    A reporter named John Packett covered it for The Richmond Times-Dispatch and counted the shots in it.
  2. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    John Packett is a great American.

    Edit: It says Packett coverED sports for the RTD for 40 years. Did he leave?
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    John retired recently after a long career. A terrific guy.
    I remember that match, that day, that point.
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Retired? Good for John. Always enjoyed seeing him at various events around the state. Super nice fella.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    He still dabbles - poor guy is doing some work for us at www.vasportsnow.com among other places.
    We got him Nats-Red Sox tickets for his retirement party (yes, I had a hand in it even though I don't work there anymore. John means that much to me). He saw the two games the Sox won.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Did anyone watch the Becker-McEnroe Davis Cup match in 1987, which lasted 6 1/2 hours?


    I watched the first 3 hours, went to play some pick-up hoops for 2 hours, and was shocked when I got home to see it was still in progress. Enjoyed the hell out of the last hour.

    Crazy match.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I cracked up reading this line:

    "The chair umpire, who apparently maintained consciousness throughout the 643-stroke point ..."

    You would think at one point, one of them would have just gone to the net and let the consequences be damnned.

    This also reminds me of the scene in Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" where the fans all simultaneously look from one side to the other during the tennis match.
  8. John

    John Well-Known Member

    One of my all-time favorite matches, along with the McEnroe-Wilander marathon match.
  9. trifectarich

    trifectarich Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure I buy someone who counted the number of shots. Why would anyone even consider doing this when you essentially end up with a long, meaningless list of single-digit numbers?
  10. BadgerBeer

    BadgerBeer Well-Known Member

    This is kind of strange...I did the exact same thing. I was parched after my run and pounded a 6 pack during the last hour or so of the match.
  11. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I could buy checking the replay afterward once you know something incredible has happened.

    But counting from the first shot? Why would you do that?

    I say it's 643, give or take a few.
  12. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    He says in the story he started doing it because throughout the match there were marathon rallies and he wanted to see just how long they were. Which there would have to be. Because even with that 29-minute point, the match wouldn't take 6 hours. Unless nearly every point involved a ludicrous amount of shots. So I can see him starting keeping track say early in the second set, and then finally getting to this epic/ridiculous rally. Plus, the reporter has received the Moddy seal of approval, so I believe him.
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