Top 3 longest men’s US Open matches
The US Open has seen its fair share of epics through its history. With 2021 tossing up so many more, here’s a look at the top marathons over the years.
Crowds in New York are more than happy to stay up into the early morning hours to see some amazing encounters under the lights.
Here, Tennishead looks at the top three longest men’s singles matches at the US Slam in the Open Era.
3. Paolo Lorenzi defeats Gilles Simon – 4 hours, 58 minutes
Two veterans of the ATP tour met in the second round of the 2016 US Open to decide who would face 2012 champion Andy Murray in the third round.
30th seeded Frenchman Simon gained the upper hand by claiming the opening set 6-3, before Lorenzi roared back to claim the second and third by a scoreline of 6-2 both times.
Into the fourth set, both men wavered on their serve, exchanging eight breaks of serve to bring up a tiebreak.
It was a lopsided run of points, as Simon claimed it 7-1 to set up a decider. The final set saw just a pair of breaks exchanged this time, before another tiebreak was required to settle the battle.
Lorenzi stepped up at 6-3 with a shot at ending the contest, and did so to book his place in the third round with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (1-7), 7-6 (7-3) win.
2. Carlos Alcaraz defeats Jannik Sinner – 5 hours, 15 minutes
In a Next Gen battle that could define the next era of men’s tennis, 19-year-old Alcaraz faced 21-year-old Sinner in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.
The two had met at Wimbledon, the most recent Slam, in the fourth round, where the older Italian got the better of the teenage Spaniard.
In a fourth tour level meeting for the pair, it was Sinner who led the head-to-head 2-1, but the contest could go either way here, and it proved to be one of the tightest in recent memory.
Each set was at least 50 minutes long, while sets two and three spanned more than 70 minutes each. Deep in the fourth, after more than four hours of play, Sinner had the match on his racket serving up 5-4 Ad-40 to win it. But Alcaraz rushed the net and finished off the point to save the match before taking the set 7-5.
Finally, at 2:50am, Alcaraz came through 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (0-7), 7-5, 6-3 for the latest ever finish in tournament history and second longest US Open match. Alcaraz went on to win the whole tournament after saving that match point, becoming world number one for the first time in the process.
1. Stefan Edberg defeats Michael Chang – 5 hours, 26 minutes
Not only was this epic from 1992 the longest match ever played at the US Open, but it was a semi-final encounter between the Edberg, the Swedish number two seed, and Chang, the fourth seeded American.
Chang was hoping to make his third Grand Slam final and secure a second slam title, while Edberg was the defending US Open champion and was gunning for a sixth Slam title overall.
Chang claimed the opener in a tiebreak, before Edberg turned the tie around in his favour by securing the second and third.
Chang tied it up to force a decider as the home crowd backed their man. But the experience of Edberg was too much for the young Chang, as he came out the victor 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-4.
The Swede would go on to defeat Pete Sampras in the final to lift his sixth and last Slam trophy.
Honourable Mention – Andy Murray defeats Novak Djokovic – 4 hours, 54 minutes
While just shy of being among the top three longest matches ever at the US Open, the 2012 final is the longest championship match at the tournament in the Open Era.
In his quest for a first Slam title, British star Andy Murray took a two sets to love lead over the Serb, 7-6 (12-10), 7-5, but the fight was far from over.
Djokovic battled back to take it to a decider, making sure that if Murray was to win a maiden Major he would have to do it the hard way.
Murray hung tough to stave off the fightback from the world number two to lift his first of three Slam titles to date.
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