There’s always a night of the US Open where we get clipped. An evening where a match for one reason or another goes to the wee hours of the morning.
Last night was that night.
It started out innocent enough with no rain and everything going off on time. The first match with Victoria Azarenka winning over Aleksandra Krunic went three sets.
And the second match between No. 5 seed Milos Raonic and No. 10 seed Kei Nishikori seemed innocent enough.
In the end, though, we witnessed history. The 5 set epic won by Nishikori 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4 lasted four hours and 19 minutes and ended at 2:26 am, tying it for the latest ending in US Open History with John Isner’s first case of Kohlschreiber back in 2012 and in 1993, in a second-round match between Mats Wilander and Mikael Pernfors.
Sure the match was exciting, but the time in the press room under Arthur Ashe Stadium was even more interesting.
You could hear a sigh of relief from the 20 or so reporters left as the match completed. No one really cared who won, rather everyone just wanted to go home.
There were reporters sleeping at their desks and some even snoring pretty loud and the coffee flowed but since the coffee pots were not marked, we had to guess which one was regular and decaf. (The one on the right was regular).
As the match continued, this version of US Open Survivor became a test of wills. Some left, but when you invested this much time into a match, you had to stay to the end.
And there were times we thought we were getting out of there early. But Raonic couldn’t do it and Nishikori kept battling.
And when the fifth set started with about 34 minutes to go for the record, you were rooting for it just to go 35.
We didn’t get it. We got a tie and that’s good enough.
And it’s back to the grind today. Hopefully Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki will have better times today in their matches.
We can only hope.