Praise for victorious Isner

WASHINGTON - Minutes after American John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in the longest tennis match in history, the US player drew lavish praise from one of his home-state senators yesterday for "surviving" the ordeal.

WASHINGTON - Minutes after American John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in the longest tennis match in history, the US player drew lavish praise from one of his home-state senators yesterday for "surviving" the ordeal.

"In addition to impressive play, John showed great respect and honour for his opponent," Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina said.

"He displayed the kind of sportsmanship that is often forgotten in today's sports world," said Burr, who praised Isner "for not only surviving the longest match in Wimbledon history but emerging victorious."

Isner beat Mahut in the five-set battle by an incredible 70-68 in the final set, 11 hours and five minutes after the first serve.

The longest filibuster - a parliamentary delaying tactic in which a lawmaker refuses to stop talking - in the US Senate ran 24 hours and 18 minutes.

l World No 1 Rafael Nadal was forced to battle for survival before extinguishing Dutch firebrand Robin Haase with a 5-7 6-2 3-6 6-0 6-3 second round victory also yesterday. - Sapa-AFP and Reuters

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