Karen Khachanov and Jason Kubler met in the Australian Open second round at John Cain Arena. Two rivals played one of the most extended rallies in Australian Open history, hitting the ball 70 times! The mammoth point came on Kubler's break point at 4-5 in the second set, and the Aussie finished it with a lucky net cord backhand winner.
Jason made a comeback and claimed the set 7-5, although Karen delivered a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 triumph in two hours and 53 minutes. The Russian played better behind the first serve and fired 57 winners and 30 unforced errors.
He lost serve two times and claimed five breaks from nine opportunities to emerge at the top and move into the last 32. Khachanov had the advantage in the shortest and most advanced exchanges, despite losing that incredible rally that saw 35 strokes from each!
The 18th seed grabbed an early break in the encounter's first game and defended break points in the second to forge a 2-0 advantage. Both players served well in the next eight games, and Karen fired a service winner at 5-4 to wrap up the opener and gain a boost.
The Russian barely lost a point in the second set's opening four service games and kept the pressure on the other side. He forced Kubler's mistake in the third game to grab a break and move in front. Khachanov produced three commanding holds in games four, six and eight to forge a 5-3 lead.
Jason followed the rival's pace after losing his serve and returned at 4-5 while trying to prolong the action.
Jason Kubler and Karen Khachanov played a 70-shot rally at the Australian Open.
The Aussie earned a break chance and seized it after that incredible 70-shot rally and a lucky backhand net cord winner that brought them to 5-5.
With a boost on his side, the home favorite broke again in game 12 to rattle off four straight games and level the overall score at 1-1. The rivals stayed neck and neck in the third set's opening eight games before Kubler faced issues at 4-4.
He missed a game point and sprayed a forehand error on Khachanov's third break point to fall 5-4 behind. Karen held at 30 in game ten to clinch the set 6-4 and build the lead ahead of the fourth. The Russian did everything right in his games, and the Aussie had to follow that pace to remain in touch.
Instead, Jason lost serve at 2-2 after a wayward forehand and drifted away from the finish line. Karen broke again in game seven and emerged at the top with a hold at 15 a few minutes later.