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Fourth-Place Medal

Olympic epic: Tsonga beats Raonic 25-23 in longest tennis match ever at Games

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

(Getty Images)

The men's marathon came to the London Olympics 12 days early.

In a second-round match played at Wimbledon, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga outlasted young Canadian Milos Raonic to win the longest tennis match in Olympic history, 6-3, 3-6, 25-23. The epic third set lasted three hours, longer than any full match played thus far in the Games.

Raonic dug himself into early holes on a number of do-or-die service games in the final set, only to quickly charge from behind with his powerful serves. He saved two match points and forced a 48th game of the set but couldn't hold off Tsonga in the end. The 2011 Wimbledon semifinalist slammed a winner off a fat volley to end the match in 3 hours, 57 minutes.

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The 48-game decisive set was the second-longest in modern major tennis history (we're counting the Olympics as a fifth major), shorter only than John Isner and Nicolas Mahut's legendary 70-68 epic, which took place just a few steps away from where Tsonga and Raonic battled. It should be noted that all men's matches at the Olympics, with the exception of the final, are best-of-three sets, not best-of-five like the Grand Slams.

Tsonga was so tired after the match that he could only perform an abbreviated rendition of his usual post-victory jig. The No. 5 seed will face the winner of Feliciano Lopez and Juan Monaco in the third round.

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