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Paul Rivard Blo...

Rivard: Going the distance in 2023

by Paul Rivard

August 17, 2023

There’s been a lot of talk about Elena Rybakina’s 207-minute win over Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals of the NBO.

Aside from the less-than-glamorous aspects of matches that conclude in the dead of night and which often upset the players’ form and tournament outcomes, there are the stats. And they tend to be dramatic.

In the case at hand, Rybakina vs. Kasatkina is the longest match—and the latest—in the history of the NBO in Montréal, clocking in at 3 hours and 27 minutes.

Elena walked off Centre Court with her hard-earned victory (5-7, 7-5, 7-6(8)) at 2:55 a.m. on Saturday, August 12. There were still dozens of night owls in the stadium.

Read also: Recap of the 2023 National Bank Open

But the record-breaking confrontation is only the tenth longest match—not in the history of women’s tennis but this season! Still that in no way diminishes our admiration for these formidably grueling drawn-out clashes.

The WTA was quick to compile a list of the three-hour-plus matches of 2023. All 53 of them.

Photo : Getty

Curiously, the longest two involve the same player: Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil. She lost in 3 hours and 41 minutes in Rome and won in 3 hours and 51 minutes at Roland-Garros.

Here’s the list on the WTA website.

In case you’re wondering, those two showdowns are still very, very far from the all-time record.

In 1984, Vicki Nelson and Jean Hepner went head-to-head for 6 hours and 31 minutes. I wrote about their match in my first blog of the season right here.

American tennis turns up the heat

Photo : Dana Scruggs/Vanity Fair

When you think of Danielle Collins, that’s probably not the image you’re used to seeing.

And that’s what Vanity Fair presumably had in mind when it came up with the idea of a glam photoshoot with the biggest stars in US tennis.

Read also: Jessica Pegula Crowned Champion of the National Bank Open

And the result is quite striking.

The American contingents in the WTA and ATP top 100s are impressive: 16 women and 11 men. The highest ranking of them all is the pride of Buffalo and newly crowned NBO champion Jessica Pegula, World No.3 in singles and No.5 in doubles.

Photo : Dana Scruggs/Vanity Fair

Joining Jessica and Danielle are Madison Keys, Alycia Parks, Shelby Rogers and Claire Liu. There’s also Sebastian Korda, Maxime Cressy, Tommy Paul, Ben Shelton, Mackenzie McDonald, Michael Mmoh and Francis Tiafoe.

Lire aussi : Pegula Finally Gets Her Hands on Montreal Trophy

To get the word out on this special edition released ahead of the US Open, the magazine shared some shots and some copy that’s as patriotic as it is inspiring.

Photo : Dana Scruggs/Vanity Fair

Here’s an excerpt:

Frances Tiafoe. Jessie Pegula. Madison Keys. Tommy Paul. The current field of American pro tennis players is the most exciting, talented, and varied we’ve seen in decades—men and women alike.

Read also: Paul Stuns Alcaraz in Canada for the Second Straight Year

This new crop’s swagger makes them stand out: their feeling that American tennis history is just that—history—and their determination to write themselves into it. They’re alchemists, blending the best of what has come before and sloughing off weighty expectations that have burdened past generations. They’re activists, leading the conversations around equality, inclusivity, and mental health that push the game to be better. And they’re inventors, making the game their own.

Photo : Dana Scrubbs

For the full article, find it on the Vanity Fair website.