Schiavone beat Kuznetosova 6-4, 1-6, 16-14 in a contest that lasted four hours and 44 minutes – 25 minutes more than the previous longest in the open era. It put the Italian into the quarter-finals, where she will face the top seed, Caroline Wozniacki.
“It is a fantastic moment for me,” said Schiavone, the French Open champion. “It is one of the most emotional moments of my life. I just told myself to keep going, do it with the heart and go for it.”
Elsewhere in Melbourne 2008 champion Maria Saharapova suffered a fourth-round defeat in straight sets to 30th seed Andrea Petkovic.
Eighth seed Andy Roddick was the major casualty in the men’s draw yesterday, losing 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to 19th seed Stanislas Wawrinka.
The comprehensive win means Wawrinka will face compatriot and defending champion Roger Federer in the last eight – the first all-Swiss men’s grand slam quarter-final in history.
Second seed Federer recovered from a fright to beat Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Novak Djokovic, the third seed, progressed with a crushing 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 defeat of Nicolas Almagro.