A record of 70 points for the longest tie-break in professional tennis has been set at a Futures event in Florida when Monaco's world number 636 Benjamin Balleret beat unranked compatriot Guillaume Couillard 36-34.
"We haven't been able to find a tie-break that went longer than this," the International Tennis Federation said on their Twitter account on Tuesday of the marathon tie-break which took place on Sunday.
To put the record in perspective, a regular best-of-three-sets match may be decided in as few as 48 points, and even a closely-contested set that finishes 6-4 will often have far fewer than 70 points played.
The previous record for the longest tie-break in a singles match was 38 points. It was reached three times, the latest in 1997 when Goran Ivanisevic beat Greg Rusedski in the decisive set of their encounter at the Queen's tournament in London.
Grand Slam winners Bjorn Borg and Andy Roddick have also won 38-point tie-breaks during their careers.
Balleret and Couillard established the mark in the first set of their qualifying third round game at the Plantation Future event, the lowest category of professional tennis.
Balleret, 29, reached a career high of 204 and in 2006 he played 17-times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters while Couillard, 37, represented Monaco in the principality's Davis Cup outing against Morocco last April.
The duo may yet be denied a place in the record books, however: their match took place without the benefit of a chair umpire, and could therefore be ruled ineligible.
- Sports & Recreation
- Guillaume Couillard
- Benjamin Balleret