The fans at the Australian Open were treated to a monster rally on Wednesday, one which sent them into a rapture as a result.
It came in the match between home favorite Jason Kubler and No. 18 seed Karen Khachanov in the John Cain Arena.
Kubler had narrowly lost the first set but had an opportunity to break back against the Russian in the second. And so, they began to exchange shots.
Neither made a mistake and neither could hit a meaningful winner as the rally went on and on.
The tension in the stands was palpable as spectators became gripped by the two players not giving an inch to one another for almost 90 seconds.
After such an amazing rally, it was only fitting it ended in an anti-climax – a backhand from Kubler clipping the net and just dropping over to win the point for the Australian, break back Khachanov and send the crowd wild as the 70-shot rally came to an end.
“That is the longest rally I think I’ve ever seen!” the commentators on Eurosport described it afterwards, calling it “unbelievable.”
It proved a catalyst for Kubler who broke serve again in the second set to level the match, but Khachanov eventually outlasted the 28-year-old, winning 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 to set up a third-round clash with 2022 US Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe.
Wednesday’s 70-shot rally wasn’t even a record for the Australian Open though, with Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Gaël Monfils having a 71-shot rally on the same court in the third round in 2013.
According to Reuters, the longest rally in a competitive match took place in 1984 between Jean Hepner and Vicky Nelson who shared a 29-minute rally in Richmond, Virginia, which finished with a total of 643 shots.
They were all still some ways to go though from the official world record for the longest tennis rally.
According to the Guinness World Records, the longest tennis rally was carried out between Italy’s Simone Frediani and Daniele Pecci on June 11, 2017, and consisted of a remarkable 51,283 shots.
The two set out to attempt the record to “challenge themselves.” The attempt began at 6:23 a.m. and finished at 7 p.m., with both wearing backpacks with water in them to keep hydrated during the day.