In the last article, we touched on the four longest matches played on the men's tour so far. Now with this, we touch on the longest professional tennis matches ever played by women in recorded history. What are you waiting for, read on to find out!
Záhlavová-Strýcová - Kulikova (Australian Open 2010) 4 h 19
We were at an absolutely loss trying to figure out what to write here in this space, given the almost complete lack of material on the internet about this match. So please forgive the lack of absolute depth or touch in our analysis. The score between that two was 7–6(7–5), 6–7(10–12), 6–3. On paper, this might seem an impossible score given the length of the match, but this is the Australian Open where the slow courts mean that it makes sense to play defensive lob or loopy shots. It is also very typical for lobs or loopy shots to be played as a normal defensive shot in the ladies' game.
Nara - Niculescu (French Open 2010) 4 h 42
The ending of this match must have been the greatest feeling for Nara in her life so far - we definitely would have felt so if we were her. A serial qualifier before this match, this win earned her a spot in the main draw of a grand slam event for the first time in her life. Adding massively to this personal breakthrough must be the exhaustion and pain endured throughout what is still on record the longest qualifier match in WTA history! Unfortunately, the web does not have enough information on this for us to give a deeper commentary on what must be an underhyped match!
Schiavone - Kuznetsova (Australian Open 2011) 4 h 44
It is one of the most emotional moments of my life. I just told myself to keep going, do it with the heart and go for it. When you’re in a situation like this, every point is like a match point. Physically you’re tired. You just keep going - Schiavone
This is a blockbuster of a match. The length of this longest WTA grand slam match ever played was made very bearable by the quality produced by the then reigning French Open champion and world number 4, and the two-time grand slam singles champion and former world number. The matchplay was ferocious, as Schiavone's Nadal-like spin ravages pound the iron defences of the indomitable Kuznetsova. If you have not watched this yet, we highly recommend you do, there are highlight videos of it easily accessible on Youtube anyway. The match was clearly taking its toll on the two players in the last set, as both players needed the assistance of the physiotherapists to keep them on court. During one changeover it looked to me as though Schiavone was hyperventilating as she sat on her chair. It must also be mentioned that Schiavone staved off 6 match points in the process of winning the match.
Nelson - Hepner (Central Fidelity Banks International 1984) 6 h 31
It is massively unfortunate once again to have the internet having virtually no useful information on this significant match. A huge reason for such is most likely the low-keyness of the event in which this match was played. It was an ordinary match of a very ordinary tournament - some USD 50,000 Virginia Slims tennis tournament in Richmond, Va, which does sound quite dodgy to us. All was ordinary but for Vicki Nelson-Dunbar and Jean Hepner (the contestants were ordinary too) played for 6 hours and 31 minutes. It must also be mentioned that they played not on a slow clay court, but on hard ones.
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