I wouldn't say that Emil Ruusuvuori and Daniil Medvedev saved the best for last, on an absolute marathon day and night of matches in Rod Laver Arena, but they certainly saved a test for last.

A test for the hardcore, sleep-deprived fans watching in Rod Laver Arena, and a test for each other, over four hours and 23 minutes.

After top seed Iga Swiatek rallied from a double-break down in a decider, after Carlos Alcaraz and Lorenzo Sonego traded breathtaking haymakers, and after Anna Blinkova ousted 2023 runner-up Elena Rybakina in a *42-point match tiebreak*, what more could Ruusuvuori and Medvedev give viewers on the Australian Open's showcase court?

A lot, as it turned out.

Fans trying to keep their eyes open at 3:29 a.m. local time, during the fifth set of Medvedev vs. Ruusuvuori.

Fans trying to keep their eyes open at 3:29 a.m. local time, during the fifth set of Medvedev vs. Ruusuvuori.


In what turned out to be the third-latest finish in the history of the Australian Open, Medvedev defeated Ruusuvuori in five sets—what, did you think it was straights?—3-6, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-0.

"Tough, tough, tough," said Medvedev just after the match concluded at 3:39 a.m. local time. "This one is for sure going to stay in my memory."

The only matches which have ended later at the Happy Slam are Lleyton Hewitt's third-round win over Marcos Baghdatis, at 4:34 a.m. in 2008, and Andy Murray's win over Thanasi Kokkinakis, at 4:05 a.m. last year.

Medvedev went on the court around 11:15 p.m.

"When I went on the court, I was a little bit exhausted already," he said.


Down a break in the fourth set, Ruusuvuori rallied to lead 5-4, with Medvedev serving. The No. 3 seed led 40-15, then dropped two points—leaving him two points from a graveyard-shift defeat.

Those next two points? Return errors from Ruusuvuori.

It was as close as the 53rd-ranked Finn would get to pulling off another major upset on a day full of them. Though he forced the Russian to a tiebreaker, Medvedev won that 7-1—forcing a decider at 3:10 a.m. local time. Medvedev followed that strong showing up with a 6-0 fifth set.

"Condolences for Ruusuvuori," ESPN's James Blake said after calling the match in Melbourne. "Not going to be a great night's sleep for him."

Nor for Medvedev, who guessed that he'd go to bed around "hopefully 6:30."

"It's not easy, but I'm going to try to win," he said about his third-round match against Felix Auger-Aliassume, surely asleep himself during Medvedev's on-court interview. "I will give my everything. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work."