Nicolas Mahut captures Newport tennis title

NEWPORT, R.I. — Nicolas Mahut certainly knows a little something about being on the court for a long time. Judging by his smile, it was a lot better feeling this time.

The 31-year-old Frenchman captured the title at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships on Sunday, beating Lleyton Hewitt, 5-7, 7-5, 6-3.

Mahut, a 2007 Newport finalist and a wild-card entrant this week, won his second career ATP title.


Mahut lost the longest match in tennis history three years ago, dropping the fifth set to John Isner, 70-68, at Wimbledon in a match that lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes. A display with items used in that match is located a few hundred yards away in the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Get Breaking Sports Alerts in your inbox:
Be the first to know the latest sports news as it happens.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

On Sunday morning, Mahut advanced after beating Michael Russell, 6-2, 6-2, in just 63 minutes. Mahut needed 2 hours, 19 minutes to get past Hewitt. Then he had to prepare for a doubles semifinal, which he won with Edouard Roger-Vasselin, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), against Marcelo Demoliner and Andre Sa.

‘‘You guys know I can play a long time, stay a long time on the court,’’ he said, breaking into a grin while standing on a rear practice court.

Earlier in the day, two-time defending champion Isner’s run on Newport’s grass court came to an end when he was ousted by No. 4 seed Hewitt, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4.

The loss ended 13 straight match wins in Newport for the 28-year old Isner, the highest ranked American at No. 19.


Both semifinals were rained out Saturday.

The 6-foot-10-inch Isner said he felt pain in his left knee area, similar to what forced him to retire in his second-round match at Wimbledon.