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Yesterday Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova played an EPIC match on Hisense Arena in Round 4 of the Australian Open. And after 4 hours and 44 minutes, which is now the longest Women's match in the Open Era, Schiavone defeated Kuznetsova with the scoreline reading 6-4, 1-6, 16-14, which although is impressive, fails to sum up the amazing shot making, fitness, and heart that was displayed on the court.
The best way for me to sum it up, is by saying this: I felt like I was watching the fight scene at the end of my favorite Rocky movie, Rocky II, where in the first 2 rounds Rocky doesn't make much of an offensive effort, but then, when backed into a corner he fights like a caged animal, taking it all the way to the 15th and decisive round where Balboa and Apollo Creed trade face-busting blows and then both fall to the canvas, confused, bloodied and bludgeoned, each attempting to crawl their way back up the ropes as you scream at the TV, "Get Up, Get Up, GET UP!" And in the end Franny channeled Rocky best, and was the last woman standing. I almost expected her to yell, "Adrian!" at the net. (Yes, I know that was the original Rocky not Rocky II)
As happy as I was for Franny, I felt equally gutted for Sveta, and you wish there was some loophole in the rule book where both players can win, and in truth it is going to take an extreme effort by battle-weary Schiavone to defeat Wozniacki in the next round, and a little 2 against 1 action wouldn't hurt......
The one drawback to this match, outside of the fact that someone had to lose, is that I'm afraid that the Women's Final next week will be anticlimactic. But, here's to hoping that, although it is a tall order, the second week of Women's tennis at the Aussie Open can trump the first.