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5 longest matches of 2022 French Open ft. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz

From L to R: Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, and Carlos Alcaraz
From L to R: Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, and Carlos Alcaraz
Dr. Balraj Shukla

In men's tennis, matches are played in the best-of-three format at all levels except the Grand Slams. Best-of-five-set matches are a true test of a player's stamina, resilience and consistency.

Earlier, each Slam had its own set of rules if the match entered a fifth set. While some had no tie-break, others involved a tie-break only after a certain score was reached. Starting at the 2022 French Open, each Slam employed a unified rule, where a 10-point tie-break would be played in the decider at 6-6.

Rafael Nadal won the title after spending nearly 20 hours on court during the fortnight. In the final, the Spaniard crushed Casper Ruud in straight sets. It was his fifth-quickest final at Roland Garros. However, the 22-time Slam champion was also involved in one of the longest matches played at the tournament, against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the fourth round.

On that note, here's a look at the five longest matches at the 2022 French Open:

#5 Camilo Ugo Carabelli vs Aslan Karatsev - R1 - 4 hours, 17 minutes

Camilo Ugo Carabelli at the 2022 French Open
Camilo Ugo Carabelli at the 2022 French Open

Camilo Ugo Carabelli made it to the main draw of the 2022 French Open as a qualifier. In the first round of the main draw, the World No. 155 faced Aslan Karatsev for the first time in his career.

Karatsev took a 2-1 set lead, but the Argentine managed to force a decider. The match went to a final-set tie-break, which Carabelli won 10-5. It was Carabelli's first-ever five-set match at a Slam.

Camilo Ugo Carabelli passed out in the night after beating Karatsev and was found by his coach with blood all over his face. Only practiced one hour on his day off because of the pain (via @PuntoDBreak). Yesterday @josemorgado told me he saw wounds on his face. Now we know why. https://t.co/7XILvRRD6b

312 points were played over the course of the four-hour-and-17-minute match. Carabelli won six points more than Karatsev, who hit 84 unforced errors. The Argentine lost in the next round to ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime.

#4 Joao Sousa vs Tseng Chun-hsin - R1 - 4 hours, 23 minutes

Joao Sousa vs Tseng at the 2022 French Open
Joao Sousa vs Tseng at the 2022 French Open

In his 11th main-draw appearance at Roland Garros, Joao Sousa was drawn against Chinese Taipei's Tseng Chun-hsin in the first round. In his first meeting against Sousa, Tseng found himself leading by two sets to one.

João Sousa fights back to beat 2018 junior champ Jason Tseng 6-7(5), 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in one of the longest matches of #RolandGarros: 4h23His first win in Paris since 2016! https://t.co/3ZXLcZiFcA

In a bid to go beyond the second round at Roland Garros for the first time in his career, Sousa made a comeback in the final two sets to win the match 6-7(5), 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in four hours and 23 minutes.

It was the third time in his career that Sousa won a match at a Slam after being 2-1 down in sets. He did so by winning 67% of his first-serve points, saving nine out of the 12 break points he faced, and winning 49 of the 64 points in which he approached the net.

The Portuguese lost his second-round match against Lorenzo Sonego.

#3 Rafael Nadal vs Felix Auger-Aliassime - R4 - 4 hours, 23 minutes

Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Felix Auger-Aliassime after their 2022 French Open match
Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Felix Auger-Aliassime after their 2022 French Open match

Ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime made it to the fourth round at Roland Garros for the first time in his career and his reward was a meeting with fifth seed Rafael Nadal. The Canadian had previously faced Nadal at the 2019 Madrid Masters, where he lost in straight sets.

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Auger-Aliassime won the opening set comfortably, but Nadal raised his level to win the next two. Auger-Aliassime took the fourth in 59 minutes to force a decider.

The match concluded after four hours and 23 minutes, with a single break in the final set making the difference. Nadal improved to 3-0 in five-set matches at Roland Garros. He would eventually go on to win his 14th French Open title and 22nd Slam overall.

#2 Albert Ramos-Vinolas vs Carlos Alcaraz - R2 - 4 hours, 38 minutes

Carlos Alcaraz hugs Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the end of their match at the 2022 French Open
Carlos Alcaraz hugs Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the end of their match at the 2022 French Open

A champion at the 2022 Madrid Masters, Barcelona Open and Rio Open, Carlos Alcaraz was one of the favorites at the French Open. He was up against fellow Spaniard and former French Open quarterfinalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the second round. Alcaraz had won their two previous meetings, both of which took place on clay.

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But he found himself in deep trouble when he trailed by two sets to one and faced a match point in the fourth. However, the young Spaniard showed great resilience and took the set in a tie-break.

Alacaraz trailed by a break in the decider, but produced a spirited fightback to take the win in four hours and 38 minutes. The scoreline read 6-1, 6-7(9), 5-7, 7-6(2), 6-4. The sixth seed's run ended in the quarterfinals against third seed Alexander Zverev.

#1 Borna Gojo vs Alessandro Gianessi - R1 - 5 hours, 1 minute

Borna Gojo attempts a return in his match against Alessandro Giannessi at the 2022 French Open
Borna Gojo attempts a return in his match against Alessandro Giannessi at the 2022 French Open

Qualifier Borna Gojo made his maiden main draw appearance at a Slam against lucky loser Alessandro Giannessi in the first round of the French Open. They had never faced each other previously in a tour-level match. Gojo was ranked No. 223 and Giannessi was placed at No. 173 in the rankings.

Each of the first three sets crossed the one-hour mark, with the Italian taking a two-sets-to-one lead. The Croatian had a set point in the second and third sets but lost them both in tie-breaks.

absolute scenes on Court 5, where Borna Gojo wins in almost 5 hours over Alessandro Giannessi and then gets into it with the Italian fans (tagging @WakeMTennis even though I’m blocked) https://t.co/i6r4H45ian

Giannessi had a chance to close out the match in the fourth set but faltered near the finish line as the Croat forced a decider. Drama ensued right up until the end, when Giannessi had a triple break point opportunity while Gojo was serving for the match.

A minute past the five hour mark, it was Gojo who eventually held serve and won the match 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-4. A total of 407 points were played in the match. Ironically, it was Giannessi (205) who won three more points than Gojo (202).


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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