Melbourne Park is dark, quiet and almost deserted as the clock strikes 4am at the Australian Open.

That is except for the roar of the crowd at Margaret Court Arena.

Tennis fans who came out to support Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis and Britain’s Andy Murray on Thursday night got more than they bargained for.

As the night turned into Friday morning, the once packed stadium dwindled.

“We could be home by now,” a man yells from the crowd prompting an echo of laughter.

One woman has fallen asleep in what appears to be possibly the most uncomfortable position one could be in on a plastic chair.

Her and her partner – who is still going strong – have work at 8am.

Those who have taken a break to go on a hunt for coffee find just one place open … with a long line.

There is a period around 3am where everyone is moving just a little slower, clapping with less energy and struggling to pay attention.

But they’re determined to see the end of the second-latest match in Australian Open history.

A man ducks out for the bathroom. The security goes to farewell him.

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“I’ve made it this far,” he says, signalling he’ll be back.

There is about half the amount of people there once was when it comes to the pointy end of the match, but the crowd that remains has regained its energy.

The woman has woken from her nap and is cheering loud for Kokkinakis.

A rowdy Aussie pair, who once sat at the back of the stadium and were responsible for starting many chants, have managed to move into seats right down near the court.

They are still standing up and cheering at the top of their lungs despite having been there for almost six hours.

It’s just after 4am when Murray secures a 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 7-5 victory in the marathon match that lasts a whopping 5 hours and 45 minutes.

Everyone in the stadium is exhausted. Kokkinakis fans are devastated they didn’t witness a happy ending.

Journalists who stayed to the end are huddled together under Rod Laver Arena to catch the players after their phenomenal performance.

“It’s great but I want to sleep,” Murray says, summarising the thoughts of everyone at Melbourne Park in seven words.

He says it shouldn’t be this way.

“I don’t know who it is beneficial for. A match like that … rather than it being like an epic Murray, Kokkinakis match it’s, like, you know, ends in a bit of a farce,” he explains.

“Amazingly people stayed until the end and I really appreciate people doing that and creating an atmosphere for us. Some people obviously need to work the following day and everything.

“But like if my child was a ballkid for a tournament and they’re coming home at five in the morning, as a parent I’m snapping at that.

“It’s not beneficial for them. It’s not beneficial for the umpires, the officials, I don’t think it’s amazing for the fans, it’s not good for the players.”

The media is told Kokkinakis is unable to speak as he is undergoing treatment.

Instead he tweets: “This f***ing sport man….. :(”

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