Andy Murray won match point at 4:05 a.m. at the Australian Open in Melbourne, beating Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second-latest finish in Grand Slam tennis history.
Murray, a 35-year-old, five-time Australian Open runner-up who nearly retired at this event four years ago, won 4-6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 7-5 over the Australian Kokkinakis in 5 hours, 45 minutes, the longest match of his career.
“Unbelievable that I managed to turn that around,” Murray said on court. “I have a big heart.
“Everyone, including me, I think we should all get off to bed now.”
The latest finish in Grand Slam history was 4:34 a.m. — when Lleyton Hewitt outlasted Marcos Baghdatis in the 2008 Australian Open third round 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2023
Murray-Kokkinakis moved into the No. 2 spot ahead of a 2007 Australian Open first-round match that ended at 3:34 a.m. Italian Andreas Seppi beat American Bobby Reynolds 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-3.
This was also the second-longest Australian Open match ever by time — eight minutes shy of the 2012 final won by Novak Djokovic over Nadal.
The latest Grand Slam finish outside of the Australian Open happened at last year’s U.S. Open. Carlos Alcaraz extinguished Jannik Sinner at 2:50 a.m. in the quarterfinals en route to the title.
“I don’t know who it’s beneficial for,” Murray said of finishing so late. “A match like that, yeah, we come here after the match, and that’s what discussion is. Rather than it being like epic Murray-Kokkinakis match, it ends in a bit of a farce.
“If my child was a ball kid for a tournament, they’re coming home at 5 in the morning, as a parent, I’m snapping at that. It’s not beneficial for them. It’s not beneficial for the umpires, the officials. I don’t think it’s amazing for the fans. It’s not good for the players.”
Somehow, Murray must get back on the court for a third-round match against No. 24 seed Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. It was Bautista Agut who beat Murray at the 2019 Australian Open, which many thought would send Murray into retirement due to a hip injury.
Murray underwent surgery not knowing if it would alleviate the problem enough for him to return. It was successful, but the three-time Slam champion and former No. 1 hasn’t gotten past the third round of a major since.
Murray has played more than 10 hours combined in his first two matches at this Australian Open. He beat No. 13 seed Matteo Berrettini of Italy in 4 hours, 49 minutes, in a five-set, first-round match.
“Let’s hope I can keep going here, but I need to keep recovering now,” Murray said.
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