Top 10 longest WTA matches in Open Era: Sara Sorribes Tormo the marathon woman
Sara Sorribes Tormo does like a long match as she features in three of the top 10 longest WTA matches in the Open Era.
Her latest tussle with Beatriz Haddad Maia saw them battle for nearly four hours in the fourth round at Roland Garros.
Their effort, though, is still some way short off the top spot and we doubt anyone will break the record any time soon, although you can never say never.
But on the back of Haddad Maia and Sorribes Tormo’s marathon in Paris, here are the top 10 longest WTA matches in Open Era history.
10. Three hours and 51 minutes
The first of three entries for Sara Sorribes Tormo as she unfortunately ended up on the losing side at the 2023 French Open against Beatriz Haddad Maia.
The Brazilian won 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 7-5 to become the first player from her country in 55 years to reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam.
“I think I work very hard my body, as well, so I believe in myself when we have tough moments,” Haddad Maia said after becoming the first Brazilian woman since Maria Bueno 55 years ago to reach the quarter-final of a Grand Slam.
“I had a lot of matches more than three hours in my career also. Yeah, as long as the match goes, I think I’m stronger. So yeah, I think it’s one of my qualities.”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 5, 2023
10. Three hours and 51 minutes
Sara Sorribes Tormo and Camila Giorgi spent three hours and 51 minutes slugging it out Italian Open first round in 2021 and their encounter comfortably made it into the top 10 longest WTA matches in the Open Era.
The opening set alone was one hour and 18 minutes and it was Spaniard Sorribes Tormo who emerged victorious as she won 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-9), 7-5.
9. Three hours and 52 minutes
Qualifier Martina Trevisan took on Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the 2021 Indian Wells Open and the pair slugged it out for nearly four hours with the Italian coming out on top with a 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 6-4 win.
Italian Trevisan then retired injured from her match in the second round.
8. Three hours and 53 minutes
Lesia Tsurenko and Kamilla Rakhimova met in the second round of the Budapest Open in 2022 and they played and played and played.
Interestingly, only one of the sets went to the tie-breaker and it was unsurprisingly the longest match of 2022 as the Ukrainian won 6-7 (1-7), 6-4, 7-5.
7. Three hours and 51 minutes
Sara Sorribes Tormo and Camila Giorgi hit the list at No 6 after their three-hour and 51 minute encounter in the first round of the 2021 Italian Open.
The first set lasted one hour and 18 minutes, the second was one hour and 33 minutes and the decider “only” 59 minutes as Sorribes Tormo won 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (7-9), 7-5.
5. Three hours and 55 minutes
Georgian Ekaterine Gorgodze came through qualifying at the 2021 Poland Open and made it to the quarter-final where she met Kristina Kucova.
And they played for days… okay just for three hours and 55 minutes before the Slovakian emerged with a 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3) victory.
Kucova went on to win the finish runner-up.
5. Three hours and 55 minutes
The oldest match on the list goes back to the 1972 French Open when Kerry Melville Reid and Pam Teeguarden’s match was just five minutes shy of four hours.
The match – won 7-6(7), 4-6, 16-14 by Australian Melville Reid – topped the list for more than a decade before sliding down the order.
4. Four hours and seven minutes
The first-ever four-hour women’s tennis match in the Open Era took place in 1995 with Virginie Buisson and Noelle van Lottum battling it out for 247 minutes in total at the French Open.
Buisson won the encounter between the two French wildcards, securing a 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-2 victory.
3. Four hours and 19 minutes
Barbora Strycova and Regina Kulikova spent 259 minutes on court in the first round at the 2010 Australian, which – at the time – was the longest effort in Grand Slams.
After the opening two sets were settled via tie-breakers, Strycova “eased” home with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (10-12), 6-3 victory.
2. Four hours and 44 minutes
Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova were clearly the WTA’s marathon women as they also played a three-hour 50-minute clash at the 2015 French Open. However, for this particular match, Italian and Russian slugged it out for four hours and 44 minutes at the 2011 Australian Open.
Schiavone won 6-7 (11-13), 7-5, 10-8, saying afterwards: “It was for me personally really fantastic.
“I hope one day to show this DVD to my son. 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.”
Russian Kuznetsova admitted it was a hard pill to swallow.
“I just feel very empty,” she said. “Maybe in a few days I will watch the video and understand more about it. It’s too hard to talk about it right now.”
1. Six hours and 31 minutes
Vicki Nelson-Dunbar and Jean Hepner’s 1984 first-round clash in Richmond took an incredible 391 minutes to complete.
Nelson-Dunbar won the match that, incredibly, was only two sets as she secured a 6-4, 7-6 (13-11) victory.
And even more bizarrely, the tie-breaker alone lasted one hour and 47 minutes with one rally featuring a mind-blowing 643 shots and taking 29 minutes to complete.
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