Elena Rybakina - Anna Blinkova make tennis history in epic Australian Open thriller

Rybakina and Blinkova played an absolute marathon of a third-set tie-break.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Elena Rybakina - Anna Blinkova make tennis history in epic Australian Open thriller
© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Elena Rybakina and Anna Blinkova made tennis history in the absolute thriller they delivered at the Australian Open as their match now owns the record for the longest tie-break played at the Grand Slam level.

On Thursday, world No. 57 Blinkova won a 42-point third-set tie-break to complete the biggest upset of this year's Australian Open and beat third-seeded Rybakina 6-4 4-6 7-6 (20). The third-set tie-break between Rybakina and Blinkova featured one of the biggest dramas seen in recent years with so many twists and turns. 

In the end, it was Blinkova who won the 31-minute marathon tie-break, clinching a win in one of the most dramatic and epic finishes in recent memory.

Anna Blinkova
Anna Blinkova© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina
 

The previous record for the longest tie-break stood at 38 points - it happened twice. In 2007, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the first-set tie-break against Andy Roddick with a 20-18 scoreline. Last year, that record was matched at Wimbledon after Lesia Tsurenko won the final-set tie-break versus Ana Bogdan with a 20-18 scoreline.

Rybakina also had several chances to beat Blinkova in the tie-break

At the Grand Slam level, the first player to get to 10 points with at least a two-point margin wins the deciding-set tie-break. 

The first to have match points in the third-set tie-break was Blinkova, who missed out on two consecutive match points at 9-7, as well as at 10-9 and 11-10, respectively. After saving four match points in the tie-break, Rybakina had her first two match points but failed to convert it.

Elena Rybakina
Elena Rybakina© Getty Images Sport - Kelly Defina
 

After Blinkova didn't convert a match point at 14-13, Rybakina also missed out on match points at 15-14 and 16-15, respectively. Then, Blinkova failed to realize a match point at 17-16 but Rybakina also didn't convert her match points at 18-17 and 19-18, respectively.

Blinkova missed out on another match point at 20-19 but managed to realize her 10th match point at 21-20 to seal an epic win over Rybakina. In total, Blinkova required 10 match points before beating Rybakina - she had two match points in the 12th game of the second set and eight more match points in the tie-break. 

Anna Blinkova
Anna Blinkova© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer
 

But also, it should be highlighted that Blinkova saved 6-of-6 of Rybakina's match points in the third-set tie-break.

Elena Rybakina Anna Blinkova Australian Open
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