MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, JAN. 19 (SATURDAY) -- Boris Becker and Omar Camporese, cleanshaven when they went on court Friday and sporting light beards by the time they left, treated fans to five hours 11 minutes of heavyweight-style, slugging tennis -- the longest singles in Australian Open history.

Players and fans packed the No. 1 court to see Becker, seeking his first Australian title in six tries, beat Italian Camporese, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12, in the third round.

Saturday, three-time Australian Open champion Mats Wilander, who dropped from the No. 1 ranking he held when he won the Australian, French and U.S. opens in 1988 to No. 47 now, beat seventh-seeded Brad Gilbert, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 6-4, to reach the round of 16.

"I feel today that things are coming back," Wilander said. "During the tiebreaker I could see the sun coming out and I could sense he was getting tired."

Once Wilander took the tiebreaker, he showed much of his old quickness and stamina, blending baseline and net play in the second set, then putting the match away with an ace on the final serve.

Gilbert stomped around the court throughout, scolding himself. "That was just a no-brainer," he said of a forehand pushed wide. "Brainless," he yelled for mistakes in shots and strategy. Finally, he complained: "His shots hit the net and go in, mine hit the tape and go wide."

Goran Ivanisevic, No. 5, wilted under the sun in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 loss to fellow Yugoslav Goran Prpic. Ivanisevic had only five aces and 18 more errors than Prpic. No. 13 Aaron Krickstein, top seeded American left, beat Patrick Kuhnen, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

In women's matches, Germany's 16-year-old Anke Huber stopped the comeback bid of Pam Shriver, 6-3, 7-5, and No. 9 Helena Sukova fell to Catherine Tanvier, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1. But No. 2 Monica Seles rolled on, stopping Karin Kschwendt, 6-3, 6-1, No. 5 Katerina Maleeva beat Donna Faber, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 11 Natalia Zvereva beat Clare Wood, 6-1, 6-3.

But the Becker-Camporese saga was the big story.

From two sets down Camporese, ranked No. 45, caught second-seeded Becker napping in the third set and confounded him in the fourth with comebacks in four straight service games. Becker had Camporese at 0-30 three times and 0-40 in the final game of the fourth set, a total of six break points in four games, but each time he squirmed out of trouble, aided by aces and rocketing forehands.

After Becker netted a backhand on his first break point in the 10th game, six thousand fans settled in for the 2:05 fifth set.

Camporese dug in, taking the first game at love. Becker held at 30 as he attacked Camporese's backhand.

For 20 games, neither cracked, making the score 10-10 as the court lights came on and the sun slipped lower. Tiebreakers are not played in the final set of a Grand Slam event.

Finally, with Camporese serving at deuce in the 21st game, Becker blocked a serve up the middle and pushed it crosscourt for a winner. Too eager, Camporese smacked a backhand approach long after his next serve, and was broken after holding 14 games.

The match was Becker's, or so it appeared, as Camporese hit three shots out to give the German a 40-0 lead and three match points. But Camporese again escaped, winning five straight points -- finished with two sizzling returns and a backhand beyond Becker down the line.

Becker charged the net as he broke at love. Camporese broke back to even the set at 12 with the help of a Becker double fault.

Camporese went up 40-0 on an ace in the 25th game. Becker took the next three points -- a forehand volley for deuce -- and, after a service winner by Camporese, won three points in a row for a 13-12 advantage.

This time, Camporese could not escape, falling on two Becker aces.

"I couldn't believe it, and I still can't believe it now," said Becker. "Forty-love on serve after playing so long {in the 22nd game of the fifth set} then he came up with those three shots. It was just out of this world."


Boris Becker (2), Germany, def. Omar Camporese, Italy, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 0-6, 4-6, 14-12; Goran Prpic, Yugoslavia, def. Goran Ivanisevic (5), Yugoslavia, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3; Mats Wilander, Sweden, def. Brad Gilbert (7), Oakland, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, 6-4; Aaron Krickstein (13), Grosse Pointe, Mich., def. Patrick Kuhnen, Germany, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1. Women

Monica Seles (2), Yugoslavia, def. Karin Kschwendt, Luxembourg, 6-3, 6-1; Katerina Maleeva (5), Bulgaria, def. Donna Faber, Hilton Head, S.C., 6-3, 6-2; Catherine Tanvier, France, def. Helena Sukova (9), Czechoslovakia, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; Jana Novotna (10), Czechoslovakia, def. Shaun Stafford, Gainesville, Fla., 6-7 (2-7), 6-1, 8-6; Natalia Zvereva (11), Soviet Union, def. Clare Wood, Britain, 6-1, 6-3; Sabine Appelmans (16), Belgium, def. Petra Kamstra, Netherlands, 6-4, 6-3; Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria, def. Rosalyn Fairbank-Nideffer (14), Escondido, Calif., 6-2, 6-3.