After a three-hour third set and six match points saved, Francesca Schiavone defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2011 Australian Open. It is now the longest women’s Grand Slam match in history. It lasted 4 hours and 44 minutes, and included a stunning 30-game third set. Final score: 6-4 1-6 16-14. During the course of the match, 358 points were played!
The match was 25 minutes longer than the previous longest women’s Grand Slam match – the 4 hours and 19 minutes encounter between Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova and Regina Kulikova at last year’s Australian Open.
The French Open champion Schiavone needed 11 attempts to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open and now she made sure that everyone heard about it. The sixth seed will next face world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, who hasn’t dropped a set at the tournament. In the fourth round Wozniacki defeated Anastasija Sevastova 6-3 6-4.
Li Na, whose best Grand Slam result came at Melbourne Part last year when she reached the semis, powered past Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-3 and made it to the quarterfinals. The Chinese will next play Andrea Petkovic, who took out three-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, and reached her first quarterfinal of a major with a 6-2 6-3 win. “There are many things that didn’t work today,” Sharapova commented on her performance. “I didn’t get my first breakpoint until it was a set and 5-1. That’s not the type of tennis I want to be playing, especially on the return.” (photo: Stephane Martinache)