MELBOURNE: Karen Khachanov and Jason Kubler shared a 70-shot rally in their second round match at the Australian Open on Wednesday but the end of the point, when it came, was something of an anti-climax.
Russian Khachanov was serving for a two-set lead in the battle between the two baseliners on John Cain Arena when Australian Kubler managed to snare a break point. The pair slapped the ball back and forth for 90 seconds before a Kubler backhand clipped the net cord and dropped onto the other side of the court, leaving Khachanov stranded behind the baseline.
The partisan crowd on the showcourt erupted in celebration and Kubler went on to take the set to level the contest at 1-1. Khachanov, however, eventually won 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2. "I actually watched that rally (after the match). At the time I was pretty buggered. But I watched it and I was hitting it so soft. I was doing all the running and Karen was the one running me around," Kubler told reporters.
"It was awesome that I ended up winning it. I think I had a really long rally in Adelaide against (Tomas Martin) Etcheverry, but I ended up losing it. So I saw that everywhere, and I didn't really enjoy it too much. "I was super pumped. I don't think I've ever had a rally that long before. You know, I'm definitely going to be sharing it on my Instagram and stuff like that."
The players would have had to go on a fair bit longer to break the record for a rally in a competitive match, which the Library of Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum believes to have taken place in 1984. Jean Hepner and Vicky Nelson shared a 29-minute rally in Richmond, Virginia in which the ball passed over the net an incredible 643 times.
Wednesday's rally was not even a record for the Australian Open nor the John Cain Arena. Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils shared a 71-shot rally on the same court in the third round in 2013. Simon won the point and the match.