Danie Visser

Nadal, Verdasco Play Longest Aussie Open Singles Match, But Not Longest Ever Match At The Event

Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco added another chapter in the history of tennis with their men’s semifinal epic at the Australian Open. The two Spaniards battled for 5 hours, 14 minutes – the longest singles match in the history of the Australian Open – before Nadal edged his Davis Cup teammate 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4. Boris Becker and Omar Camporese held the previous record for the longest match in the history of the Australian Open when Becker edged the Italian standout 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12 in 5 hours, 11 minutes in the third round in 1991. Many media outlets are mis-reporting that the Nadal-Verdasco is the longest match of any kind at the Australian Open. However, the Nadal-Verdasco match is not the longest match ever at the Australian Open according to THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95 New Chapter Press, www.tennistomes.com) as Pieter Aldrich and Danie Visser won a 5 hour, 29 minute marathon men’s doubles match in the 1990 quarterfinals, defeating Scott Davis and Robert Van’t Hof 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 23-21. The last set of this match alone took 2 hours, 53 minutes.

Bud Collins, the Hall of Fame journalist and historian, documents the longest matches in the history of the Australian Open in his authoritative book. The updated list of longest matches at the Australian Open are as follows;

Longest Matches, Playing Time

Men’s singles

5 hours, 14 minutes Rafael Nadal d. Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4

5 hours, 11 minutes Boris Becker d. Omar Camporese, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12, 3rd rd., 1991

4 hours, 59 minutes Andy Roddick d. Younes El Aynaoui, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4, 21-19, QF, 2003. The fifth set took 2:23, Roddick saved MP in 10th game of the fifth with inside-out forehand.

4 hours, 59 minutes Pete Sampras d. Tim Mayotte 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 12-10, 1st round, 1990

4 hours, 51 minutes, Yannick Noah d. Roger Smith, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 16-14, 1st round, 1988.

Men’s doubles

5 hours, 29 minutes Pieter Aldrich – Danie Visser, d. Scott Davis – Bob Van’t Hof, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 23-21 (last set took 2 hours, 53 minutes), quarters, 1990

Women’s singles

3 hours, 33 minutes Chanda Rubin d. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 2-6, 16-14, quarters, 1996

One of the great things about THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS is that many of these statistics and lists can only be found in this book (sometimes the records that Bud has compiled are better and more detailed than the record books of the actual tournaments.)

The longest singles matches at each of the four majors is as follows:

FRENCH OPEN

6 hours, 33 minutes – Fabrice Santoro d. Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 16-14, first round, 2004 French Open – played over two days) This match is also the longest recorded match of all-time.

WIMBLEDON

5 hours, 28 minutes – Greg Holmes d. Todd Witsken 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 14-12, second round, 1989 – played over three days

US OPEN

5 hours, 26 minutes – Stefan Edberg d. Michael Chang 6-7 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-4, semifinals, 1992

TENNIS HISTORY TUESDAY: Record-Setting Match In Melbourne…er…wait

A new chapter in tennis history was written Monday on Day One at the Australian Open, but luckily, it was only written in pencil. Gilles Muller of Luxembourg defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 4-6, 16-14 in a match that was originally recorded as lasting 5 hours, 35 minutes, making it the longest match in time in the history of the Australian Open. However, about two hours after the conclusion of the match, it was revealed that the PDA device used as the official scorecard of the match by the chair umpire, wrongly added 71 minutes to the time of the match – with the official time of the match actually being 4:24. Therefore, Boris Becker and Omar Camporese still hold the record for the longest match in the history of the Australian Open when Becker edged the Italian standout 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12 in 5 hours, 11 minutes in the third round of the 1991.

Bud Collins, the Hall of Fame journalist and historian, documents the longest four matches in the history of the Australian Open in his authoritative new book THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS ($35.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennistomes.com). They are as follows:

Longest Matches, Playing Time

Men’s singles

5 hours, 11 minutes Boris Becker d. Omar Camporese, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12, 3rd rd., 1991

4 hours, 59 minutes Andy Roddick d. Younes El Aynaoui, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4, 21-19, QF, 2003. The fifth set took 2:23, Roddick saved MP in 10th game of the fifth with inside-out forehand.

4 hours, 59 minutes Pete Sampras d. Tim Mayotte 7-6, 6-7, 4-6, 7-5, 12-10, 1st round, 1990

4 hours, 51 minutes, Yannick Noah d. Roger Smith, 6-7, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 16-14, 1st round, 1988.

Men’s doubles

5 hours, 29 minutes Pieter Aldrich – Danie Visser, d. Scott Davis – Bob Van’t Hof, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 23-21 (last set took 2 hours, 53 minutes), quarters, 1990

Women’s singles

3 hours, 33 minutes Chanda Rubin d. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 6-4, 2-6, 16-14, quarters, 1996

One of the great things about THE BUD COLLINS HISTORY OF TENNIS is that many of these statistics and lists can only be found in this book (sometimes the records that Bud has compiled are better and more detailed than the record books of the actual tournaments.)

Incidentally, the record for the longest men’s singles match in GAMES in Australian Open history came in 1970 when Dennis Ralston defeated John Newcombe in 93 games – 19-17, 20-18, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Ralston for the first time this past weekend at the USPTA/New England Coaches Conference at Wentworth-by-the-Sea in Portsmouth, N.H. Ralston heard from attending coaches of my new book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press, www.tennishistorybook.com) and immediate came to the New Chapter Press booth to buy a copy. Ralston was a 1987 inductee into the International Tennis Hall of Fame and best known for winning the Wimbledon doubles title in 1960 as a 17-year-old and for helping the United States to Davis Cup titles in 1963 as a player and in 1972 as a captain, the latter with dramatic away victories against Spain in the semifinals in Barcelona and the epic final against Romania in Bucharest. Tim Mayotte, who lost to Pete Sampras in the second-longest men’s singles match by time in 4 hours, 59 minutes (as document above) was also in attendance in Portsmouth. Mayotte is also the coach of the Boston Lobsters World Team Tennis franchise.

The Journeyman: Open Season

Mark Keil, scribes this week on the final major of the year: the US Open.

It really has been great writing about my past tournament experiences. This nourishes my ego immensely and thank you for staying tuned.

In 1991, I played with Francisco Montana of Miami. Francisco was an All-American out of the University of Georgia. An All American is a player who play’s collegiate tennis and qualifies as one of the 64 best player’s in Division I university tennis in the year-end season individual championships. There are probably around 175 school’s that play Division I. If the player is seeded in singles, or gets to the round of 16 in the event, he get’s a plaque proclaiming his status.  If a player get’s to the quarterfinals in the 32-team doubles event, he also becomes a member of the team. Francisco was a stellar junior player, and once beat Jim Courier 6-0, 6-0 in the Orange Bowl.  He had more hitches in his serve than a Nebraska trailer park. We lost to Steve DeVries, the All-American out of Cal-Berkeley and the current Bryan brother’s coach David MacPherson.

The next time I competed at the Open I played with Stefan Kruger and we beat Danie Visser of South Africa and Laurie Warder of Australia 6-4,7-6.  Visser was a crafty lefty, who had tremendous success in doubles.  His partner Laurie was a scratch golfer.  Staying at the Open is always fun. I would always try and stay where Patrick Rafter was staying, usually the Hotel Elysse.  It was great to hang out in the lobby’s Monkey Bar and check out the female’s trolling.

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In 1994, I played with Rikard Bergh, nicknamed “the Liar” for always telling fibs.  He was cool, in that the year we played together I signed up with a partner, but he called me and told me we were not high enough to get in. He said if I played with him, we could squeak in.  So we got in, and beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov and David Rikl, Wade McGuire and Jeff Tarango and got a chance to play for a quarterfinal spot.  We faced Tom Nijssen and Cyril Suk.  In the third set we got hooked by the umpire Steve Ulrich, on a deep lab that landed out for us to go up a break in the third.  Ulrich is by far the worst chair umpire ever.  We lost 7-6, 4-6, 3-6. 

In 1995,  I played with Peter Nyborg and we lost to the NCAA doubles champions from Ole Miss Ali Hamadeh and Mahesh Bhupathi  6-7, 3-6.  In those days, the collegiate champion in singles and doubles would get a wild card into the main draw.  Now, only if American’s win the event, do they receive one, and I don’t think that applies to the doubles anymore.  The next year I played with Matt Lucena, the two-time college doubles champion with two different partners. We beat Brett Hansen-Dent and T.J. Middleton 6-4, 6-4.  Hansen-Dent got to the finals of the NCAA’s in singles once for the Trojans of USC.  We beat another SC boy Brian MacPhie and his partner Michael Tebbutt the next round.  They both had wicked lefty serves.  We lost to Sebastien Lareau and Alex O’Brien after that. O’Brien won the singles, doubles, and team title for Stanford in 1992. 

In 1998, Doug Flach and I lost to Macphie and Patrick McEnroe 6-7, 4-6.  Papa Mac was watching, and I felt like I was in a rerun episode of Johnny Mac playing Bill Scanlon and I was the ballboy.  In my final match at the US Open, I teamed up with Luis Lobo of Argentina. At that time, he was at the end of his career, and was coaching Marcelo Rios as well as playing doubles on the tour.  We defeated Garcia-Roditi and lost to Lareau and O’Brien again.

Enjoy the tennis on TV, or if you have the gumption, head to the Open and watch it live!

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