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Mon Apr 27 10:58:37 SAST 2015

Schiavone edges Kuznetsova in record marathon

Ian Ransom, Reuters | 23 January, 2011 11:140 Comments
Francesca Schiavone of Italy gestures during her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2011
Image by: YURIKO NAKAO

French Open champion Francesca Schiavone edged Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-6 6-1 16-14 in a four-hour and 44 minute marathon on Sunday that shattered the women’s record for the longest match at a grand slam in the open era.

In a tortuous third set of unrelenting tension, 30-year-old Schiavone saved six match points and captured the decisive break at 14-14 after reaching desperately for a crosscourt volley that left Kuznetsova flat-footed at the net.

Kuznetsova saved two match points with a baseline winner and a sharp return but could not save the third as Schiavone wrapped up the three-hour final set with a forehand volley.

The match surpassed the record set by Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova and Regina Kulikova that lasted four hours and 19 minutes in last year’s Australian Open, according to tournament officials

Schiavone will next play top seed Caroline Wozniacki.

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