Eight minutes prevented Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis from creating the longest match in the history of the Australian Open. Only one match exceeded the 5 hours and 45 hours that saw the Scottish champion beat his home idol in the super tie-break of the fifth set.
This is the incredible final won by Novak Djokovic in 5 hours and 53 minutes against Rafael Nadal in 2012. The match between Murray and Kokkinakis was the third in the history of modern tennis to end after four in the morning.
A timetable and an organization that have opened a big question mark on the scheduling of matches in big tournaments. Djokovic himself, after defeating Grigor Dimitrov in three sets, focused on the delicate topic at the press conference.
Djokovic explained: "I think the contribution of the players is always important for the organization of a tournament. We know that our opinions are not decisive, because much depends on the interests of the broadcasters. This is the deciding factor.
I agree with Andy. There are days when the daytime sessions get longer, but statistically the meetings finish on average around 5 or 6. In this case you could start the evening session at least an hour earlier. For the public it could be exciting to watch matches that finish at 2/3 in the morning.
For us players though, it's really exhausting. Even if you pass and win, you still have to recover. Your pace is completely disrupted and you don't have enough time to really recover. It is a theme that must be addressed after what we have seen this year." Djokovic will face Alex de Minaur in the round of 16.
The two have never met before in their careers: "It's a big challenge to face a home player here in Australia. I am sure that the atmosphere will be electrifying and that he will receive a lot of support. This will load it up a lot.
But I've had similar experiences before. I played against Lleyton Hewitt here. I know what awaits me in terms of atmosphere. The fact that I have never played against him presents a challenge. We both don't know our next rival's game very well in this sense, but I have seen him play many times. We'll see what happens."