Challenger Doubles Tie-Break Record Broken In Tiburon
Bester and Polansky win marathon tie-break over King and Tiafoe
This week’s $100,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Tiburon, California, has long been known as one of the most respected tournaments on the calendar, but now it will also be known for holding a record that likely won’t be broken anytime soon.
On Wednesday, Canadians Philip Bester and Peter Polansky won a marathon 20-18 second set tie-break in their opening round doubles match over Darian King of Barbados and American #NextGen star Frances Tiafoe. The 38-point tie-break is the longest in Challenger doubles since the ATP began keeping records for such doubles matches in 2007. Bester/Polansky saved multiple match points to prevail in the tie-break.
Including ATP World Tour matches, it is the second-longest tie-break, only behind a 25-23 marathon in a first-round clash in Washington, D.C. in 2015, which saw Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah prevail over Austin Krajicek/Nicholas Monroe. These tie-break stats do not include Match Tie-breaks.
"It was a pretty insane tie-break. Every match point and set point was long and they all ended with a ridiculous shot,” said Polansky. "It's one of the most entertaining matches I've played in my entire career."
Bester added that “it was a fun ‘breaker to be a part of. I thought it was never going to end.”
But while the Canadians won the battle, King and Tiafoe won the war. They regrouped after dropping the marathon tie-break to take the match, 7-6(2), 6-7(18), 10-8. King/Tiafoe rallied from 0-4 down in the Match Tie-break.
"I sat down in the chair at 18-all and was thinking, 'This is the craziest thing that's ever happened.' I remember Bester saying that he's never been a part of anything like this. That was good fun,” said Tiafoe. “When we got to match point at 9-8, I was thinking we had to end it there and we did."
“We had a lot of fun and the crowd really enjoyed it,” added Tiafoe. “There were some extremely lucky shots, but we all stepped up on the big points. You just try to stay in the moment as much as possible and make a lot of first serves.”
Next up for King/Tiafoe is a quarter-final match on Friday against Americans Sekou Bangoura/Mitchell Krueger.