Wimbledon breaks Grand Slam record for five-set marathons

Daniil Medvedev‘s triumph over world number one Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon on Tuesday marked the 36th men’s match this year to extend to five sets, setting a new record in the professional era of Grand Slam tournaments. The Russian fifth seed emerged victorious after exactly four hours, securing a spot in the semi-final where he will face Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz.

Defending champion Alcaraz was also pushed to five sets against Frances Tiafoe in the third round, although he managed to avoid another lengthy match by defeating Tommy Paul on Tuesday. With five more men’s singles matches left, it would be unexpected if there weren’t additional marathon encounters.

When asked about the abundance of lengthy matches at this year’s rain-affected Wimbledon, Medvedev suggested that the playing surface might play a role. “I don’t know. Maybe the level is closer than before,” the 28-year-old shared with reporters. “In my view, grass is always a tricky surface where it’s very hard to win in straight three sets. A single break can determine the result of a set. If you have one poor service game, a double-fault, or an easy miss, you lose the set.”

“It’s more about the nature of grasscourt tennis.” The most extended men’s singles match this year was Thanasi Kokkinakis’ five-set victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime, which lasted four hours and 38 minutes.

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