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Gavrilova’s start sets new Open record

Daria Gavrilova set a new Australian Open record before even setting foot on court.

The Australian’s round two singles loss to Belgian Elise Mertens became the latest to ever start at Melbourne Park with an 11.59pm start time.

The women were left waiting while third-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov was taken to five sets by American qualifier Mackenzie McDonald.

Dimitrov, who eventually won the thriller 4-6 6-2 6-4 0-6 8-6, actually held the previous record for late starts.

His match last year. against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, began at 11.58pm, then the latest start to a contest in Australian Open history.

In a strange twist, that match followed Gavrilova and Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky onto the court.

The latest finish to a match played at the Australian Open, or any grand slam, was in 2008 when Lleyton Hewitt and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis played a five-set match that finished at 4.33am.

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