Early in Grand Slam tournaments, there are almost always some wild—or perhaps wacky—matches, simply because of the sheer volume of contests that come with 128-player draws.
We had a pair of them on Day 2 of the Australian Open.
In the second-set tiebreaker, Safarova trailed 5-1, 6-3 and 7-6 before stealing the set and winning the decider handily.
Here are those nine match points (this video is not suitable for Wickmayer fans):
Not to be outdone, with shades of Isner-Mahut at Wimbledon, big-serving Ivo Karlovic outslugged Horacio Zeballos, 6-7 (6), 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 22-20 on Court 19 in a match that lasted five hours and 15 minutes.
The 84 games played in that match are the most in Australian Open history since the advent of the tiebreaker, and the fifth set took two hours and 37 minutes alone. The previous record (83 games) was set by Andy Roddick and Younes El Aynaoui in 2003.
The 37-year-old Croatian fired 75 aces in the hard-fought victory, setting another Australian Open record.
Here’s how it finally ended:
Safarova’s reward for her triumph? A date with second-seeded Serena Williams, who beat Belinda Bencic in straight sets in her opener.
Karlovic, seeded 20th, will take on Australian wild card Andrew Whittington in the second round.