Tennis: Third seed Elena Rybakina bundled out of Australian Open after historic 42-point tiebreak against Anna Blinkova

Third seed Elena Rybakina's bid to reach back-to-back Australian Open finals ended in a 6-4 4-6 7-6(20) second-round defeat by Russian Anna Blinkova after a record-breaking super tiebreak that lasted more than 30 minutes on Thursday.

With little to separate the duo in the final set tiebreak, Blinkova held her nerve in an epic battle lasting 42 points and dropped to her knees as she clinched a famous win on her 10th match point as the Rod Laver Arena crowd rose to their feet.

It was the longest tiebreak in a singles match in Grand Slam history.

Elena Rybakina.
Elena Rybakina. Photo credit: Getty Images

"This day I'll remember for the rest of my life, on this court with this crowd, it's the best of my life so far," said Blinkova, shortly after she shared a hug with Rybakina at the net as the crowd gave the pair a standing ovation.

"Thank you too the crowd for encouraging me, it gave me so much energy to fight until the end. It was super tough, I tried to stay focused on every point.

"I had so many match points and tried to be aggressive at these moments but my hand was shaking, and my legs too."

Having saved six match points, Blinkova walked away to huge cheers after writing "NEVER GIVE UP" on a courtside camera lens.

Big-hitting former Wimbledon champion Rybakina, who lost to Aryna Sabalenka in last year's final, began the match sluggishly as her ex-doubles partner capitalised with an early break which proved enough for her to go on and wrap up the opening set.

The 25-year-old Blinkova built up the pressure and pounced on her opponent's serve again in the second set to take a 2-1 lead but Russian-born Kazakh Rybakina responded with one of her own as the powerful duo were evenly matched after eight games.

Brisbane champion Rybakina shifted up a gear and drew level at one set apiece before the players traded breaks freely in the decider which was settled in a tiebreak for the ages as even the chair umpire struggled to control his laughter at 19-19.

The gutsy Blinkova went on to earn her best career victory by ranking and equalled her best Grand Slam performance and will take on 26th seed Jasmine Paolini of Italy next.