Men's Tennis: 5 longest Australian Open matches
The Australian Open, billed as the 'Grand Slam of the Asia Pacific' is the only Grand Slam to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. The youngest of the 4 Grand Slams, the Australian Open is unique in more ways than one. Few firsts for this great event include - the first of the Grand Slams to have a retractable roofing system over one of its primary courts, the only Grand Slam to be held in 2 different countries (Australia and New Zealand), the only Grand Slam to have been conducted twice in the same year (1977) and more recently the only Grand Slam to have a 10 minute extreme heat break between 2nd and 3rd set for Women and after the 3rd set for Men.
Rod Laver Arena, Margaret Court Arena and the Hisense Arena - the three main courts of the Australian Open have been witness to many epic marathon clashes over the years. It is hard enough to play a 5 set match in a Grand Slam, but playing one during the peak Australian summer season where temperatures can soar above 40 degree Celsius - now that's taking it to a whole new level.
As the 2019 edition of the Australian Open is set to start, we take a look back at 5 of the longest Australian Open Men's Singles matches (in terms of match duration) in the Open Era:
# Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka – Round of 16, 2013
2-time defending champion and top-
eed Novak Djokovic was the pre-tournament favorite going into the 2013 Australian Open. He was placed in the same side of the draw as Swiss Number 2 and 15th seed Stan Wawrinka. Wawrinka was yet to win a Grand Slam title back then and was finding his way back to form after a not so great 2012 season.
Neither of the two men dropped a set as they squared off in their 4th round encounter. Wawrinka quickly took the first set 6-1 and lead by 5-2 in the second before Djokovic won 5 games in a row to level the match. A single break of serve gave Djokovic the third set before another tight 4th set where both men held resolutely to their service games forcing a tiebreak. A single mini-break gave Wawrinka the 4th set. The 5th set produced some high-quality tennis as both men saved quite a few break points on their own serves. Eventually, it was Djokovic who prevailed 1-6 7-5 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 12-10. The match ended at 1:41 am and lasted for 5 hours and 2 minutes.
Watch and enjoy the extended highlights of this marathon match below :