Paris: Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka outlasted Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6 in a marathon French Open fourth-round clash that lasted five hours and nine minutes, the longest match at this year’s edition of the second Grand Slam event of the season.
Four years after winning his lone Roland Garros trophy, Wawrinka Sunday had to dig deep to bring Tsitsipas’s best French Open run to an end at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
Both players seemed to have difficulty recovering from third round matches that they had to wrap up Saturday, a day after the contests were suspended due to darkness.
Wawrinka made short work of Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, while the Greek needed four sets to get past Filip Krajinovic, of Serbia.
But it was all a thing of the past once the two men were on the court, as they drew out the first set, although the Greek player had a break point in the fifth game, forcing a tie-breaker that the Swiss won.
Tsitsipas got the first service break to lead Wawrinka 2-0, but the Swiss capitalised on the first opportunity he had in the second set to break back and then tied it at 3-3.
Tsitsipas appeared to be on his way to levelling it when he broke Wawrinka’s serve in the eighth game, but he was broken while serving for the set as the Swiss made the score 5-4.
Then, Wawrinka survived five break points in a marathon 10th game that included six deuces, but he was unable to do the same in the 12th game, when he crumbled on the first break point.
With the match tied at a set apiece, both players held serve till the seventh game of the third set, when the Swiss took advantage of the fourth break point in the set to take a 4-3 lead.
He had two chances to take the set on Tsitsipas’s serve at 5-4, but he got the job done in the following game.
Tsitsipas got two service breaks to take a 3-0 lead and then a 4-2 advantage, having been broken in the previous game, and he built on this lead to bring the match to two sets apiece.
In the decider, Tsitsipas had eight break points, but he was unable to convert any of them, while on the other side of the court, one of two break points Wawrinka carved out was enough to get him the win.
Next up for Wawrinka will be his countryman, Roger Federer, who sailed into the quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-3 win over Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer.
Federer has a 22-3 career record against Wawrinka, with the former world No. 1 winning the six most recent matches between them.