Sunday, January 23, 2011
Schiavone edges Kuznetsova in record marathon.
Italy's Francesca Schiavone has won the longest grand slam women's singles match ever played - a four hour, 44 minute epic against Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova at the Australian Open on Sunday.
Sixth seed Schiavone beat 23rd seed Kuznetsova 6-4 1-6 16-14 on Hisense Arena in a fourth-round clash - the third set lasting exactly three hours.
It bettered the previous women's grand slam record set at last year's Australian Open when Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat Regina Kulikova in four hours and 19 minutes in a first round match.
But it was well short of the longest recorded women's tennis match between Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner in a tournament in Virginia in the United States in 1984.
Nelson won that in six hours and 31 minutes, including the longest point in women's professional tennis.
Kuznetsova had six match points midway through the marathon third set but current French Open champion Schiavone kept saving them to set up a high quality climax.
Schiavone broke Kuznetsova in the 29th game of the set, then claimed victory on her serve on her third match point.
Kuznetsova saved two match points with a baseline winner and a sharp return but could not save the third as Schiavone wrapped up the three-hour final set with a forehand volley.
Schiavone now faces world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the quarter-finals.