Women's Match of Decade No. 8: Schiavone d. Kuznetsova, Aussie OpenBy Nov 27, 2019
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Women's Match of Decade No. 8: Schiavone d. Kuznetsova, Aussie Open
In the longest women’s Grand Slam match of the Open era—the 2011 fourth round—the Italian threw everything she had en route to her 6–4, 1-6, 16-14 win.
Published Nov 27, 2019
Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.
See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.
If the men could run a marathon and call it a tennis match, why not the women? Six months after John Isner and Nicolas Mahut went to 70–68 in the final set at Wimbledon, Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova reached 16–14 in Melbourne, in the longest women’s Grand Slam match of the Open era.
If anything, this was the more entertaining of those two never-ending epics. At four hours and 44 minutes, it fit into one day instead of three, and it never devolved into a mind-numbing series of aces and service holds. This was physical, no-holds-barred tennis, and nothing was predictable about it. Schiavone and Kuznetsova threw everything they had into the often long and taxing—and very loud—rallies. By the third set, each needed regular care from a trainer to keep going.
Kuznetsova had six match points; Schiavone served for it at 10–9 and 11–10, and was broken both times. Finally, the Italian closed it out at 15–14, but even in victory she sounded as devastated as she did elated.
“It’s one of the most emotional moments of my life,” Schiavone said. “When you’re in a situation like this, every point is like a match point. Physically, you’re tired. You just keep going.”
Ten years later, no two women have gone longer at a Grand Slam.