New York: Ninth-seeded Sam Stosur edged No. 24 Nadia Petrova 7-6 (5), 6-7 (5), 7-5 on Friday to reach the fourth round of the US Open in a match that took 3 hours, 16 minutes - the longest women`s match in the tournament`s history.
Stosur, the 2010 French Open runner-up, converted her fifth match point, breaking serve when Petrova netted a forehand. They barely avoided playing the first 39-game, three-tiebreaker match at Flushing Meadows in 20 years.
Had Petrova held serve, they would have headed to a tiebreaker to decide the outcome. The other Grand Slam tournaments don`t use tiebreakers in the third set of women`s matches or the fifth set of men`s.
Since the tiebreaker system began in 1970, only two U.S. Open women`s singles matches had three of them: victories by Gigi Fernandez in 1991, and by Steffi Graf in 1985.
The previous longest women`s match was in 2008, when Sybille Bammer defeated Marion Bartoli in 3 hours, 5 minutes.