Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal Australian Open Match Is The Longest Grand Slam Final On Record
by Staff | January 29th, 2012, 10:03 am

Novak Djokovic’s 57 64 62 67(5) 75 victory over Rafael Nadal in 5 hours 53 minutes is the longest men’s Grand Slam final on record in terms of duration. The rain delay is included in the final match time as the match was not officially suspended.

The previous longest men’s Grand Slam final on record was 4 hours 54 minutes when Mats Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl 64 46 63 57 64 at the 1988 US Open.

The previous longest men’s final on record at the Australian Open was in 1988 when Mats Wilander defeated Pat Cash 63 67 36 61 86 in 4 hours 27 minutes.

The previous longest match at the Australian Open was 5 hours 14 minutes when Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Verdasco 67 64 76 67 64 in the 2009 semifinals.

The longest men’s match in history is John Isner’s 64 36 67(7) 76(3) 70-68 1st round defeat of Nicolas Mahut at 2010 Wimbledon which lasted for 11 hours 5 minutes.


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33 Comments for Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal Australian Open Match Is The Longest Grand Slam Final On Record

green900 Says:

What an epic match! Will always be remembered.

Krishna Says:

Unbelievable many ebbs and flows..Djokovic really should have won in straight sets..he pretty much gave away the first set with his sluggish play..4th set he had his chances but blew those..

Credit to Nadal.. as Sampras once said.. he is an absolute “mental animal”.. I believe it was his mental powers and will that even kept him in that match..

Djokovic showed great will as well to win that one in the 5th set.physically he was suffering but picked his spots wisely..amazing match..probably the best one I have ever seen..

Krishna Says:

agreed green900 … :)

kriket Says:

Outstanding performance from Novak Đoković. Looks like the only thing that can stand in his way to greatness are eventual injuries, not any player in the current field. Hope he picks his fights intelligently and does not risk getting injured on some not-so relevant tournament or match. He should save himself only for the best – GS and Masters Series.

Krishna Says:

one of the best I have ever seen.. it is up there with Fed Nadal Wimby 08..

tennisfan Says:

What an epic match we witnessed today. Djokovic surely proved to the world that Djoker Slam is a possibility. Both these players battled it out like two warriors on a mission. No words can justify the level of tennis that was played today. They have taken tennis to a new level it seems. But overall an inspiring win for Nole today- but I am sure the fight that Nadal put up will def raise his confidence for the rest of the season!

Novak Djokovic (The Steel Man) wins the Battle of Will against Rafael Nadal!

Brando Says:

Thanks jane, ajet and others.

Nole has shown what a player he is today. No doubt an all time legend in the making.

And i am very proud of rafa’s fight here. Before the match he said that he did not know if he was ready to beat nole but that he will fight for every point.

And that he most certainly did. And he has shown that he is getting closer to his goal.

It is my HONEST BELIEF that nole is doing what federer did to rafa: making him a better player.

There were some very noticeable improvements in rafa’s game today, and despite the heartbreaking loss he can walk away with his head held high, knowing that he has something to work with, to build upon and the heart of a lion to keep coming back to fight another day.

Tennislover Says:

Great final! Congratulations to Djokovic fans and commiserations to Nadal fans especially Alison and Kimberly. I understand that this is a tough loss but cheer up ladies. Your guy gave everything on the court and that is all that one can ask of him.

vox777 Says:

Nole!!! To defeat Rafa in such final is epic!!! Truly worth of one of GOAT titles!!! :)))

Wog boy Says:

Kimberly, Brando and others, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.

To my Nole fans, what a hell of the player he is, NOLE-NOLITO-NOVAK THE GREAT- SIMPLY THE BEST ! ! !

alison hodge Says:

aww thanks tennislover what a great match,and a great shame that one player has to loose unfortunatly,tennis is the winner today,congats to nole,and especially jane,wogboy,duro,nina etc,etc,honestly no complaints what so ever,nole was the deserved winner,and rafa made me proud to be a fan,wishing these two amazing players all the best for the rest of the season.

alison hodge Says:

brando great post the last sentence has just made me cry lol.

jane Says:

Thanks alison and commiserations to you. Definitely you should be proud because Rafa played an incredible match. His interview is up and is very heartening.

Wog Boy don’t forget to explain the tea recipe.

mat4 Says:


I am not quite sure, but they have a recipe with half plum brandy, half water and some sugar, boiled together; the other is wine concocted with some sugar.

Wog boy Says:

Alison, thanks.

Jane, I am just about to get sam sleep, it is after 4am, I will do it next time.

jane Says:

Oh thanks mat4, sounds gooey-sweet. I like sours better. ;) No tea while driving!

Wog boy, yes, sleep!

Dory Says:

Epic. Dramatic. Yes. But they cannot play every Slam final like this zOMG! That would ruin their bodies. There is a reason Federer plays so fast and spending last possible energy. Federer in my humble opinion, remains the most efficient AND successful player. People only look at the success and who’s the current hot favorite. They don’t look at how efficiently playing has enabled Federer to maximize his career performance at the age of 30. Point is: this match was a classic, no doubt but I don’t want every Slam final to be a 6 hour hard hitting marathon that ends up draining the life out of both players. Sure this type of tennis is of course enjoyable, there re exciting rallies but at the same time there’s less variety. Variety in the game makes it less boring and shows the versatility of the player. So for me, there is MORE ENJOYABLE tennis than this.

jamie Says:

Hi, ya’ll.

As predicted, Nole won the AO.

Predicting the winner of a slam is quite easy, actually. Nole had the best chart for the AO by far. You must have noticed that he didn’t win this AO as easy as he won in 2008 and 2011… He will continue winning titles until May, dominating and making tons of prize money. But after May he will enter a different period where he will still remain competitive but he will not win another slam this year….

What is complicated is predicting the slam finalist because sometimes a player with a very lousy chart can reach the final. Nadal has had very bad charts for the past 3 slams(Wimbledon, USO and AO) but he still made the finals but he was never winning not with a negative chart. For example, Del Potro had better charts at Wimbledon, USO and AO than Nadal but still Nadal went further. Neither of them had the winning chart for Wimbledon, USO or AO. Same can be said for Federer and Murray. None of these guys were winning the past 3 slams. Nole had the winning chart for the past 3 slams.

According to the psychic:

FO will be won by Nadal and could very likely be his last slam win.

Wimbledon and USO, Murray could end up winning both and becoming #1.

Federer will not win another slam in his career.

Del Potro will win another slam in 2013.

And Djokovic will not win another slam this year but will resume winning again on the biggest tennis stage in 2013.

tennisfansince76 Says:

@dory yes too many matches like this and they’ll have to move over to wheelchair tennis. a punishing match!

tennisfansince76 Says:

to be fair thogh if Nadal and Djoker both adhered to the official time limits between pts this match would have been shorter

Ajet Says:

Well, I fully agree with dory and tennisfansince76 that we deserve tennis involving more variety than the one being on display by nadal/djoker. I’m forsure a tennis purist and would love to see a mix of variety like nt play, some serve and volley and some baseline play combined in right proportions rather than having all the courts slowed down to the point that serve and volley would be on the verge of extinction while counter-punching and retrieving absolutely taking over, not to mention moonballing tennis even on HC! it’s getting quite repetitive!n and it’s sad to see that a majority number of guys like soda, berd, delpo, tsonga, roddick etc. getting lost into oblivion without fulfilling their true potentials, thanks to AO like courts!

variety is a thing of past and physicality has taken over COMPLETELY. After few days only all would realise what we lost, if federer suddenly due to courts like miami and AO, is denied success and hangs up his shoes! then keep watching as much ball-bashing as you want, but the true skill and beauty would get lost!

Ajet Says:

And btw, i sure hope ATP does something to bring back speed and lessen bounce on the courts or else the day won’t be far when players would have to go through a longer match than that of today, and would finally vomit blood and get hospitalised or die!

Ajet Says:

what’s th point if you just can’tend a point even if you want to, and kee running from dawn to dusk for the sake of a freaking win!

Ajet Says:

what’s the point if you just can’t end a point even if you want to, and keep running from dawn to dusk to fetch the ball and hit back to the man on other side of the net(which of course would again come back to you slowly enough to tempt you to again hit it back; and each rally would take two weeksto end!) for the sake of a freaking win!

jane Says:

I agree that some points could end sooner and so forth; in fact, sometimes I get tired watching those really long rallies! However, I did notice lots of slices, lobs, some drop shots, Nole coming into net 31 times and Rafa 19 times. I also noticed a mix of spin and flat shots, great angles, amazing down the line shots. It’s not like they *only* bash balls from the baseline. I think they displayed some pretty amazing tennis. :D But I am biased being Nole’s fan. And I have always admired Rafa’s consistent effort to find a way to win.

Ajet Says:


coming to net 50 times by both guys combined in 6 hrs you think is enough??? JUST NO WAY!!!

Ajet Says:


believe me, nadal and djokovic are both layers who can do quite decent serving and vlleying, and especially your guy would be more at an advantage than rafa if courts speed up, and will display more aggressiv beautiful tennis than you’re seeing now from him. don’t you think nole was amazing last year, in his match vs fed??? i think both displayed great variety with good serving, good net play and quite significnt number of relatively short , but numerous rallies(at least just in enough proportion that should be in a match) full of required varriety! i would take such matches anyday over threateningly physical matches like today!

jane Says:

Ajet, yes, I do love Nole-Fed matches as Nole tends to play more aggressively. I agree that some points could have ended sooner last night and that ideally Nole should’ve come in more. indeed, I feel like he should’ve ended last night’s match in four sets.

I loved, loved, loved when Novak served and volleyed to set up championship point at Wimbledon last summer. :)) I was merely trying to point out that there was some variety – in my opinion – in this final slam match. It wasn’t purely baseline bashing.

Based on all their finals definitely Nole tends to try to come in more. In their 2010 USO final Nole came in almost 50 times I think. But it’s not easy versus Rafa and on a slow high bouncing court. So I guess the issue is mainly court speed. And yes, a variety of speeds would be good for tennis.

jane Says:

A good example when Nole should have come in was at 2-3 in the 5th set, 30-all. Nole had Rafa waaaaay back scrambling at the baseline early in the point when he could’ve come in and finished it with a deft drop volley; however he stayed back, got caught in a long rally and since he was the one going for it, he made an error (FH wide) and set up the break point for Nadal. Luckily he was able to break back later when Rafa missed a BH passing shot. But that game, Nole should’ve held imo, and he might’ve done so had he come in and finished the point.

mat4 Says:


I was also surprised by the fact that Djoko didn’t try to cut those defensive BH slices with some net play.

Michael Says:

Wog boy, you owe me two drinks although I was a bit off target predicting the winner. I said Djokovic in four, but it was five.

Michael Says:

Nodoubt it was a marathon match and was full of drama and excitement. But the match was also extended by the time players took between points. Novak was taking about 30 seconds while Nadal 35. This should be the longest match in the history of finals of the major. The longest match in history was the Isner-Mahut match.

mmm Says:

I don’t see that Isner d. Mahut match ever being surpassed. hahahaha

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