Home » Rybakina falters after historic tie-break as Blinkova posts upset

Rybakina falters after historic tie-break as Blinkova posts upset

by Noe

It took the longest tie-break in Grand Slam history to deny No.3 seed Elena Rybakina a deep run in the 2024 Australian Open. The Russian-born Kazakhstani went down to unseeded Anna Blinkova, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (22-20), in second-round action on Thursday.

Rybakina was drawn into the longest singles tie-break in men’s or women’s slam history that lasted for more than 30 minutes. She fell to the 25-year-old Blinkova, who denied Rybakina a chance to repeat her final appearance Down Under last year.

Blinkova saved six match points in the 93-minute deciding set at Rod Laver Arena to win the historic tie-break. The former junior world No.3 player forced Rybakina to push a backhand wide on her 10th match point to close out the match.

“This day I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Blinkova, who advanced to the third round against No. 26 seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy.

Rybakina tried to shrug off an ankle issue during the long-drawn contest as she arrived on her first match point at 12-11. The 2022 Wimbledon champion then struggled against Blinkova’s composure and grit that rewarded the world No.57 with her biggest victory so far this year.

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