Johanna Konta and Garbine Muguruza have been forced to play the latest-starting match in Australian Open history after a number of marathon matches and a freaky bird poo fiasco caused scheduling chaos.
Muguruza and Konta's match on Margaret Court Arena did not start until 12:30am on Friday morning-a record at the season-opening Grand Slam-and finished with a 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 7-5 victory for the Spaniard two hours and 42 minutes later at 3:12am.
But Britain's No 1 was not to be derailed - she had not played this well in many a long month - and cracking down an ace to set up set point, she took the tiebreak for the loss of only three points.
At the end of a high-quality duel, former Wimbledon and French Open champion Muguruza pounced on Konta's serve at 6-5 in the deciding set, grabbing a match point with a backhand victor before forcing a forehand error to seal the win.
A remarkable match on the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne ended at the absurd time of 3.15am Australian time.
"I don't know what other choices you have.You could move them on an outside-court, but then the atmosphere might be quite sad, you know, if you put them on the outside-court".
"It wasn't ideal for anyone", said Konta.
The Start of the meeting had been delayed because of the Alexander Zverev (Hamburg, Germany) and Frenchman Jeremy had occupied the Margaret Court Arena for nearly four hours, Zverev won in five sets.
The match started at 12.30am due to rain delays and previous lengthy matches - it's the latest a match has ever started at this tournament. "I think it's quite risky". We don't know if we play at 11:00pm or 1:00am or super late.
Organisers declined to issue a statement on the scheduling but a spokesperson said it was Muguruza and Konta's decision to proceed with their match despite the late hour. And by the time they had cleaned the court, it would have taken about ten or 15 minutes and we were in the same boat anyway. "It was a very tough (match), I think Johanna was also playing very good".
"I can't believe there are still people watching at 3.15", said Muguruza.
Muguruza, seeded 18, will meet Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in the third round on Saturday.
"I think as tennis players you have to be flexible, especially in the head".
Two-time major victor Garbiñe Muguruza was scheduled to play the unseeded Johanna Konta at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne at 9 p.m.
The schedule is largely determined by local television demands to play high-profile matches in the evening prime time. Like, you just have to get it done.