Ladies, You’re Making the Boys Look Bad

Written By: achangeofends - Jan• 24•11

Day 7 of the 2011 Australian Open provided us with some of the most surprising upsets of the tournament thus far, as well as some damn good tennis. Even though many of the men’s matches have gone five sets and many of the women have battled for three, until yesterday, the only real memorable matches of the tournament were Hewitt/Nalbandian and Federer/Simon. But those matches were more about who was playing and what was at stake than actually pushing the boundaries of the tennis world.

Francesca Schiavone of Italy (L) and Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia embrace after their match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2011. French Open champion 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. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic (AUSTRALIA – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Last night, two WTA veterans and Grand Slam champions battled it out for 4 hours and 44 minutes for a chance to meet Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals. Svetlana Kuznetsova and Francesca Schiavone proved that they were two of the toughest players on tour when both went on the offensive well into the 16-14 fifth set. Unlike Isner/Mahut or the 2009 Wimbledon final (which also ended 16-14 in the final set,) both ladies managed to break the other’s serve in the final set prior to the final game. Kuznetsova had the advantage of serving first, so it was all on Schiavone’s racket to hold each time she served. But, Fran did one better than hold, she broke and earned herself the opportunity to serve for the match.

Somehow, the quality of tennis remained super high all the way through the third set, even though the women were in uncharted territory and both had to call the trainer. This was the longest women’s match in Grand Slam history. Anyway, the match was a pleasure to watch and both women were incredibly gracious when all was said and done.

Schiavone will take on world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals tomorrow. We’ll see how well she recovers from this nearly 5 hour battle.

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