Mahut vs Isner

Nicolas Mahut Attempts to Rewrite History with Already-Memorable 2013 Season

Nicolas Mahut will probably be remembered for one thing and one thing only.

After all, he has been on tour for 15 years and has been inside the top 50 for a whole 6 months. He has been a top 300 player for about 12 years running, but top 300 players don’t usually make the annals of tennis history. No, Nicolas Mahut’s career, as it stands now, has one memorable moment.

Let’s be honest, losing the longest match in tennis history is not something you want to be remembered by.

Sure, Mahut reached the finals of Queens and Newport back in 2007. And a Queen’s Club final is nothing to scoff at. But both of those pale in comparison to his marathon match against John Isner.

However, in 2013, at the age of 31, Mahut is trying to rewrite his tennis memoirs.

An injury-riddled and poor 8 months stretch at the end of 2012 and the beginning of this year saw Mahut’s ranking drop outside the top 200 for the first time since February of 2010. Fortunately for him, though, it was still high enough to get him into qualifying at Hertogenbosch and into Wimbledon before the entry deadline. Whether it’s because of his big serve or his ability to get to balls very close to the ground, Mahut is strongest on grass.

Nicolas Mahut wins first titleMahut proved that quite well when he qualified for Hertogenbosch, beating Lukasz Kubot (a strong grass player in his own right) along the way. Then Mahut went on to win the tournament without dropping a set, upsetting Stanislas Wawrinka in the final.

Mahut couldn’t carry his momentum past Tommy Robredo in Wimbledon, losing to the Spaniard in straight sets in the second round. Mahut flew through the draw in Newport though (which he needed a Wild Card to get into), once again reaching the final without dropping a set. He lost the first set of an exciting final to Lleyton Hewitt, and took full advantage to come back and win the match after Hewitt couldn’t serve it out at 5-4 in the second set.

Now Mahut is riding the best 2 months of his career into the summer hard court season. He has won 14 out of his last 15 tour-level matches, including 3 qualifying rounds at Hertogenbosch. He is currently getting adjusted to the hard courts as the second seed in the Granby Challenger, where he won his first-round match in 3 sets.

Now Mahut has a chance to have a real season to be remembered by. He has two ATP tour-level titles already this year and his ranking is high enough to get him directly into the US Open. Whatever he does for the rest of the year, Mahut now has something to tell his grandkids about other than losing the longest match in tennis history. And who knows? Maybe he can ride this momentum even further and pick his ranking up even higher, achieving even more to cap off his career.