Four Hours, 19 Minutes
Published January 19, 2010 12:00
MELBOURNE, Australia - The world may not have been watching when it began but by the third set everyone was talking about it. Way out on Court 11 at Melbourne Park, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Regina Kulikova played the second-longest women's singles match in the Open Era.
For four hours and 19 minutes the women went toe to toe, although Zahlavova Strycova could have finished it much earlier, leading by a set and 4-1, even holding three match points at a set and 5-4 then another four match points in the tie-break. She lost that second set but regrouped to win, 76(5) 67(10) 63.
The four-hour, 19-minute match was the longest women's singles match in a Grand Slam in the Open Era, and second-longest at any event, shorter only to Vicki Nelson-Dunbar's 64 76(11) win over Jean Hepner in the first round of Richmond in 1984, which lasted six hours and 31 minutes. The Richmond match had one point in the tie-break that alone lasted 29 minutes.
Zahlavova Strycova and Kulikova's match was also just the third women's singles match on record to pass the four hour mark, with Virginie Buisson's 67(3) 75 62 win over Noelle Van Lottum in the first round of the 1995 French Open going four hours, seven minutes. Three very long days at the office, no doubt.