Schiavone earns historic triumph

SIXTH seed Francesca Schiavone hailed “one of the most emotional moments of my life” after beating Svetlana Kuznetsova to win the longest women’s match in grand slam history at the Australia Open.

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.