Tennis

Kirilenko wins record tiebreak

Maria Kirilenko made history, but didn't win the match.
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NEW YORK (AP)

John McEnroe could relate: Maria Kirilenko won ''The Battle of 1715'' but lost the match.

In what the WTA said is the longest tiebreaker between women at a Grand Slam tournament, Kirilenko outlasted Sam Stosur 17-15 in the second set of their fourth-round match at the U.S. Open on Sunday night. Stosur wound up reaching the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-7 (15), 6-3 victory.

2011 US Open

2011 US Open

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Their tiebreaker fell two points short of the so-called ''Battle of 1816,'' McEnroe's memorable 18-16 fourth-set tiebreaker victory against Bjorn Borg in the 1980 Wimbledon final - a match that Borg eventually won in the fifth set.

When Stosur put a forehand in the net, allowing Kirilenko to force a third set, McEnroe, who was on hand Sunday night to call their match for TV, said, ''There, in a nutshell, is why this is such a great sport.''

That was Kirilenko's sixth set point. Stosur wasted five match points.

The tiebreaker was filled with drama, including three points that ended with line calls in favor of Stosur, only to be reversed when Kirilenko challenged them.

At 14-all, the No. 9-seeded Stosur double-faulted to set up No. 25 Kirilenko's fifth set point. But Kirilenko dumped a forehand into the net to make it 15-all, then flipped her racket end-over-end high in the air.

On the next point, Stosur put a backhand into the net for 16-15. And that's where the tiebreaker that would not end did end, with a 13-stroke exchange capped by Stosur's errant forehand.

The second set alone lasted 1 hour, 24 minutes, and the full match went 2:37 - which actually might have seemed rather easygoing to Stosur, whose third-round match went 3:16, breaking the women's record for most time on court at the U.S. Open.

The longest tiebreaker in a U.S. Open men's match was 20-18, won by Goran Ivanisevic against Daniel Nestor in the third set of a 1993.

According to the WTA, the longest previous Grand Slam tiebreaker on record for women went to 16-14, in a 1999 French Open first-round match between Stephanie Foretz and Nathalie Dechy.

The tiebreaker system was adopted in 1970.

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