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Top five longest Men's Singles matches at Australian Open

Published at :January 22, 2023 at 4:55 PM
Modified at :January 25, 2023 at 1:34 AM
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These are one of the most exciting matches in the tournament's history.

The Australian Open is the first grand slam of the season with the world’s top athletes vying to take part in the mega tournament. Top players arrive two weeks prior to the slam and play a few ATP tour events to get accustomed to the weather and conditions. Novak Djokovic holds the record of winning the most Australian Open titles (9) and is on the verge of getting to the two-figure mark. The tournament has seen some exciting matches over the years and in this article let us look at the five longest matches played at the Australian Open.

5. Rafael Nadal vs Fernando Verdasco, 2009  (5 hours and 14 minutes)

The Spanish legend won a tough five-set battle against countrymate Fernando Verdasco in five sets 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4. Fernando Verdasco progressed to the semifinals after defeating the likes of Andy Murray from Great Britain in the initial rounds. Both were tied at two sets each and Nadal in the final set did not have to sweat hard to win (6-4).

Fernando Verdasco had to call in the doctor in the middle having to battle out cramps as the match was going past midnight. Nadal went on to beat Roger Federer in the finals and became the first Spaniard to win the Australian Open title and was also his first hardcourt grand slam title.

4. Ivo Karlovic vs Horacio Zeballos, 2017 (5 hours and 22 minutes)

Ivo Karlovic the 20th-seeded Croatian beat Horacia Zeballos in a five-set marathon  6-7(6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 22-20. Karlovic fired down 75 aces which is a record for the Australian Open in a single match and also played out 42 games in the last set which is the longest to date. The fifth set alone took two hours and 37 minutes as 37-year-old Karlovic broke the Argentinian’s serve in the 42nd game of the set.

108 aces were served overall Karlovic (75) and Zeballos (33). A total of 84 games was played  in the five-setter which also became the highest number of games played in a single match at the Grand Slam.

3. Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev, 2022 (5 hours and 24 minutes)

Rafael Nadal took on the 2021 Australian Open finalist Daniil Medvedev in the finals. The Spaniard was in search of his second Australian Open title having won the previous title way back in 2009 defeating Roger Federer. Nadal on his quest for glory did not start the match on a positive note losing the first two sets but came back strongly, to win the next three sets 2–6, 6–7(5–7), 6–4, 6–4, 7–5. 

The title was special as Nadal was suffering from an injury for the past six months and did not play much tennis. This was Spaniard's 21st grand slam title and became the first athlete to breach the 20-slams mark.

2. Andy Murray vs Thanasi Kokkinakis, 2023 (5 hours and 45 minutes)

Andy Murray the three-time grand slam champion from Great Britain won the second-round battle against crowd favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis in five sets 4-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5. Murray defeated 13th-seed Matteo Berettini in the first round (4 hours and 45 minutes) and played his second successive five-setter in the second round. The match which began around 11:00 PM ended at 4:06 AM local time.

Andy Murray came back from behind losing the first two sets and made an excellent return winning the next three sets. Murray for the past three years had been suffering from injuries and many were expecting him to retire. The Scottish international defied all odds and won the match progressing to the third round.

1. Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, 2012 (5 hours and 53 minutes)

The 2012 finals between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was the longest match in the Australian Open history.  The then world number one Djokovic defeated world number two Nadal 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7, 7–5 to win the tournament. It was the longest major final match (by duration) in history, lasting 5 hours 53 minutes, overtaking the record previously set by the 1998 US Open final between Mats Wilander and Ivan Lendl.

The Serbian coming into the final played a marathon semifinal match against Andy Murray which lasted for 4 hours and 50 minutes.