Tennis Prose



The Longest Point In Tennis History…29 Minutes!

You learn something every day and I learned yesterday the longest point in tennis history was 29 minutes long! Yes, you read that right, a professional tennis rally lasted 29 MINUTES long.

How did I learn such a rare nugget of tennis trivia? I will tell you. I messaged Jean Hepner a few weeks ago asking about her four and a half hour match with Barbie Bramlett at US Open which included nearly 20 match points.

Yesterday Jean replied.

“Barbie Bramlett 1983 US Open 4 hours and 20 or so minutes. I won. Next round lost to Pam Shriver 64 63.” Then Jean added… “Vicki Nelson 6 hrs 30 minutes, I lost 64 76.”

Whoa! What? Six and a half hours for two sets?

“Yes…longest women’s tennis match in history. 1984 in Richmond. It went Guinness (world record).”

“It was talked about in New York Times in 2009…I never read the article because I was embarrassed. Dave Seminara was a very kind interviewer.”

I responded: You should be proud of accomplishing something that nobody else has in tennis, like the Isner vs Mahurt match, these moments are more interesting than some of the grand slam finals.


Jean was touched:  “Thanks sweetheart! The one thing I am proud about is that I am the only tennis player that was losing for 6 hours and never gave up.  I had two isolated set points…had I won that point it would have been a split [laughs]!” Meaning the six and half hour match would have gone to a third set and possibly and two, three, four or who knows how many more hours?

Nelson won 64 76 (11) at the Virginia Slims Richmond tournament at the Raintree Swim and Racquet Club. It was a first round match. Here is the link to the New York Times article.

The rally was over 600 shots and 29 minutes long, as counted by a reporter covering the duel.



  • Gans · May 25, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Great achievement by Jean Hepner. Very nice of you to reach out to her and congratulate her. I agree. She is a champion with great heart. Needs to be celebrated.

  • Gans · May 25, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Though you title says one point lasted 29 mins, there is no mention of that in your article.
    So which match exactly had that point played? And did it involve Jean?

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    agree, more impressed by her guts than some top 20 players.

  • Scoop Malinowski · May 25, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Yes it was in Jean vs Nelson, the NYT article link explains it.



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