WIMBLEDON

Tsonga downs Isner in epic fifth set to reach last 16

12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outlast John Isner 19-17 in a marathon fifth set to round off the fifth longest match in Grand Slam history.

Tsonga downs Isner in epic fifth set to reach last 16

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga reached the Wimbledon last 16 on Sunday by downing US marathon man John Isner 6-7 (3/7), 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 19-17.

French 12th seed Tsonga, a semi-finalist in 2011 and 2012, saved a match point in the 32nd game of the final set. The last set alone lasted more than two hours.

Isner, the 18th seed, famously won the longest tennis match ever played when he beat another Frenchman, Nicolas Mahut. 70-68 in the final set at Wimbledon in the first round in 2010. That five-setter, stretched over three days, lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

Isner had led Tsonga by two sets to one when play was halted at sunset on Saturday.

John Isner feels the strain during his five set defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

The American ended the four-hour, 25-minute tie with 38 aces, 101 winners and 53 unforced errors.

Tsonga, who goes on to face fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet for a place in the quarter-finals, hit 21 aces and 88 winners but crucially made just 20 unforced errors.