## Impossible Odds of a 70-68 score: The Isner–Mahut tennis match at 2010 Wimbledon

15 Jul

Richard Charnin
July 15, 2015

Charnin Website
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The Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships is the longest match in tennis history, measured both by time and number of games. In the Men’s Singles tournament first round, the American 23rd seed John Isner defeated the French qualifier Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 for a total of 183 games.

What is the probability of a 70-68 set?

It’s the same as flipping a coin 70 times and always coming up heads
or a basketball player with a 50% average sinking 70 foul shots in a row
or a mediocre .500 baseball team winning 70 games in a row
or of 23 unnatural deaths among 1400 JFK witnesses in the first year following the assassination…

Assume the players are equally matched (each has a 50% chance of winning a game)
The probability P = .5^70 = 8.47E-22 = 1 in a BILLION TRILLION!

It never happened before and never will.
It is by far the most astounding result in sports history.
It defies explanation.
But it actually happened.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isner%E2%80%93Mahut_match_at_the_2010_Wimbledon_Championships#Match_details