Misc Tennis

Medvedev wins Australian Open match in 3rd-latest Slam finish

Medvedev wins Australian Open match in 3rd-latest Slam finish

MELBOURNE, Australia — If he wasn’t on the court competing, Daniil Medvedev doubted anything would have kept him at Rod Laver Arena until almost 4 in the morning.

The third-seeded Medvedev lost the first two sets of his second-round Australian Open match against No. 53-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori before coming back to win 3-6, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0 in 4 hours, 23 minutes in the latest finish of the week.

They walked onto Rod Laver Arena to start hitting at 11:07 p.m. AEDT Thursday after women’s No. 3 Elena Rybakina lost the longest tiebreaker ever in a women’s Grand Slam event, 22-20 to Anna Blinkova.

The match ended at 3:39 a.m. Friday, and Medvedev was still there signing autographs as the clock ticked closer to 4.

The long tiebreaker and the uncertainty over the starting time, he said, meant his eating and warmup routines were thrown out of kilter.

“When I went on court, I was a little exhausted already,” Medvedev, a two-time Australian Open finalist, explained to the scattering of fans still in the arena well after the last trams had finished running for Day 5.

It won’t go down as a classic, but it still had plenty of drama.

Medvedev needed a medical timeout for blisters on his right foot after the second set, and he spiked his racket into the court after missing a chance to break Ruusuvuori’s serve late in the fourth.

Then he had trouble tying the laces of his right shoe before the deciding fifth set.

Looking at the clock, he was frank with the people who had stayed there until a couple of hours before the sun was due to rise.

“Honestly guys, I would not be here,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview. “Thanks for staying. If I would be a tennis fan and I would come, at 1 a.m. I would be like, ‘OK, let’s go home. We’re going to catch the end of the match on the TV.'”

It was the latest finish this year, but not close to the tournament record. Andy Murray defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis at 4:05 a.m. last year in a second-round match that lasted 5 hours, 45 minutes.

And that was only good enough for second place on the all-time list. The latest-finishing match in Grand Slam history ended with Lleyton Hewitt beating Marcos Baghdatis at 4:34 a.m. in the 2008 Australian Open.

After player complaints last year, Australian Open organizers decided to extend the tournament by adding a…

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