Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2023 | Leigh Rogers

The lion-hearted efforts of a resurgent Andy Murray is one of the biggest stories so far at Australian Open 2023.

And unfortunately for Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, he found out firsthand tonight just how difficult it is to beat the former world No.1.

Kokkinakis held a two-set advantage and a 5-2 third-set lead against the five-time Australian Open finalist in their second-round clash at Margaret Court Arena, before Murray fought back to win a late-night epic.

The 35-year-old Murray eventually closed out a 4-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 7-5 victory in five hours and 45 minutes. It is the longest match of both their careers and the second longest match in tournament history.

The five-set marathon, which will go down in history as one of the most memorable Australian Open matches, finished at 4.05am local time.

It is the third latest finish in tennis history and just shy of the 4.34am conclusion to Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis’ famous battle at Australian Open 2008.

For world No.66 Murray, it is the 11th time he has recovered from a two-set deficit in his career and the first time he has done so at the Australian Open.

Kokkinakis, who finished the match with 102 winners and a career-high 37 aces, can still take many positives from his Australian summer.

The 26-year-old scored his first top-10 win in almost five years, beating world No.6 Andrey Rublev during a semifinal run at the Adelaide International, and matched his career-best singles result at the Australian Open.

The world No.159 stated earlier this week that his goal for the season is “to try to break into the top 50”.

Kokkinakis’ loss leaves Alex de Minaur and Alexei Popyrin as the last Australians standing in this year’s men’s singles competition.

World No.24 De Minaur scored a hard-fought four-set win against France’s Adrian Mannarino in the second round, while world No.113 Popyrin stunned eighth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in a five-set thriller.

> READ MORE: De Minaur survives second-round test at AO 2023

AUSSIES IN ACTION – Australian Open

Men’s singles, second round
[22] Alex de Minaur (AUS) d Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 6-1
[WC] Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
 d [8] Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-7(4) 7-6(2) 6-4 6-7(6) 6-2
Andy Murray (GBR) d Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 4-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 7-5

Women’s singles, second round
Linda Fruhvirtova (CZE) d [WC] Kimberly Birrell (AUS) 6-3 6-2

> READ MORE: Aussies advance in AO 2023 doubles

Men’s singles, third round
[22] Alex de Minaur (AUS) v Benjamin Bonzi (FRA)
[WC] Alexei Popyrin (AUS) v Ben Shelton (USA)

> VIEW: Australian Open 2023 men’s singles draw

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