The Mexican Open produced a moment in history as the match between Alexander Zverev and Jenson Brooksby finished at 4:56am local time, the latest ending to a tennis match ever.
The match between German second seed Zverev, the reigning champion, and 21-year-old American Brooksby did not start until shortly after 1:30am local time due to earlier matches lasting over three hours.
Bizarrely, the match was delayed by a poorly-timed ceremony that involved a huge Mexican flag being unveiled across the tennis court.
Zverev finally claimed the win 3-6, 7-6(10), 6-2 in a match lasting three hours and 20 minutes.
In the first match, John Isner defeated Fernando Verdasco in three hours and 13 minutes, while in the following match, Stefan Kozlov upset Grigor Dimitrov in an encounter lasting three hours and 21 minutes.
Understandably, Zverev was delighted with the win, saying it was an ‘incredible battle and an incredible match’.
“Right now I’m happy I won. I don’t know how Jenson feels, it must be difficult, but I’m happy to be a part of history,” Zverev said after the match.
“Today I didn’t play my best, there’s no doubt about it. But I didn’t give up, I knew I wanted to do well here.”
“I’m the defending champion and I want to give myself the best chance to win. I did well surviving today.”
The Alexander Zverev vs Jenson Brooksby match in Acapulco broke the record for the latest ending to a men’s singles match, beating the previous record held by Aussie Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis during the 2008 Australian Open.
The match at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne did not start until 11:49pm local time with Hewitt recording a 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 victory.
The encounter lasted for four hours and 45 minutes and ended at 4:33am.
Hewitt described the victory as one of his ‘best wins’.
“I should have closed it out in the fourth set when I was playing well,” Hewitt said.
“But it’s one of my best wins, mentally, to come back and beat him in the fifth set, so I am pretty proud.”
The start time of 11:49pm caused plenty of controversy with Australian Open organisers coming under fire.
Hewitt said he and Baghdatis had no choice but to play the match.
“We didn’t really have a choice. We had an opinion, but we didn’t get a choice.”