Two-marathon matches in two days have turned the WTA Dubai event into a serial record-breaker.
The trend began on Sunday’s opening day, with Liudmila Samsonova defeating Paula Badosa in a leisurely three hours, 22 minutes.
But a day later, the longevity mark was bettered by seven minutes as Sorana Cirstea took 3:29 to go past Beatriz Haddad Maia 4-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5 to reach the second round.
Cirstea saved a pair of match points in the second set and came from 1-4 down in the final set.
“I wasn’t planning to break the record,” the Romanian winner said.
“This is what tennis is about, where all the work pays off. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if it’s a first round or a final — the joy is the same.”
She added: “Tennis is not fair sometimes. You play for three hours and a half, and it’s a difference of a point.
But I’m happy I came on the winning side today. I’m very, very proud of the way I fought.”
Main photo:- Liudmila Samsonova was in three hour 22 minute battle to win first round match in Dubai by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd