Tennis Prose



Longest Woman’s Match In Roland Garros History

By Scoop Malinowski

The longest Grand Slam men’s matches are well known… Isner vs Mahut, Gonzales vs Pasarell, Roddick vs El Aynaoui, Djokovic vs Nadal… but for some reason, the longest women’s Grand Slam matches don’t get the same positive attention.

I just discovered that the longest match ever at Roland Garros happened in 1995, a first round clash of two wildcards Noelle van Lottom and Virginie Buisson, both of France, though van Lottum was also a citizen of Holland.

Buisson, ranked 177, was in her first Grand Slam main draw and was down 6-7 and a match point on court 8 (now court 5). But 162-ranked van Lottum, who made the third round at 1992 US Open (her best major result) was unable to finish off Buisson on the sunny afternoon.

The two baseliners, both attired in white and green Lacoste outfits, exchanged long, high, slower, loopy baseline rallies and it was the older Buisson, born in 1969, who outlasted the three years younger van Lottum 6-7 7-5 6-2. The match lasted four hours and seven minutes.

Buisson would lose in the second round to the no. 9 seed Kimiko Date 6-1 6-2. Date would reach the semifinals.

van Lottom, who reached a career high ranking of 49, won her only WTA singles title in Wellington (she beat Donna Faber 6-4 6-0). In a strange irony, van Lottum would play again two years later on the same court 8, only to lose another set-up heartbreaker to Laura Golarsa 6-4 5-7 10-12. van Lottum holds career WTA wins over two former WTA world no. 1s – Justine Henin and Amelie Mauresmo.

Buisson’s only match win in a Grand Slam was the win vs van Lottum. 1995 Roland Garros was also her only Grand Slam main draw appearance.

Note: Did you know there was a US Open match that lasted four and a half hours? How about a WTA match that lasted over six hours? Yep…see this previous Tennis-prose feature.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · December 28, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Trying to do a Biofile with Noelle van Lottum, who operates a tennis academy and was just hired as the new LTA head coach

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 28, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Good quote on French male players not being able to win Grand Slams… The French consider love and Beauty to be the raisin d’etre of life. The hyper competitiveness required for tennis champions is anathema to their culture. I admire them for this. Was that not a beautiful tragic loss…ah oui…have some delicious wine with a beauty…

  • catherine · December 29, 2021 at 1:35 am

    That’s Scotland, not quite the same as LTA Head Coach. I imagine this Academy will only cater for Scottish players. Who else would want to go to cold wet Stirling to play tennis ?

    And if Scotland achieves independence, which isn’t impossible, this situation will change completely.

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 29, 2021 at 9:26 am

    Catherine if Norway can produce a top ten player so too can Scotland.

  • catherine · December 29, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Well, Scotland already has…but Andy of course did a lot of his training as a young player in Spain. I doubt Stirling would’ve offered the same attractions ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · December 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Expectations now on Scotland to produce another champion.



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