What are the greatest matches you've seen?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Posture Guy, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    I figured there was a thread on this so I searched on "greatest matches" but didn't see anything. Apologies if I missed it.

    would love to hear what you all consider the greatest matches you've ever seen. Take personal bias out of it. I.e., if you're a Federer fan, don't list 10 federer wins. Just the tennis itself, what was some of the best you've seen? Me personally, I haven't had a favorite tennis player since I was a kid watching Nastase and McEnroe. Cringed at their antics but loved their artistry. In no particular order, here are some of mine, and apologize in advance for getting the years wrong as I'm sure I wont' remember them correctly.

    - Borg vs McEnroe, both '80 and '81, Wimbledon
    - Federer vs Nadal at Wimbledon a few years ago
    - Sampras vs Federer in I think it was the quarters, when Federer beat him in 5. Federer blew me away, could tell someone special was on the rise.
    - Sampras vs Agassi at the US Open at night, a 4 setter. Neither player was broken. Great clash of styles played at the highest levels.
    - Ashe vs Connors in, what, '75?
    - Borg vs Vitas, maybe '77?
    - Djokovic v/s Federer at this year's French

    I'm sure I'm missing some great ones. Would love to hear what matches others really enjoyed or viewed as special.
     
    #1
  2. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Federer Djokovic 2010 USO
    Nadal Djokovic Madrid 2009
    Nadal Murray WTF
     
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  3. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    weird federer-safin AO 2005 hasn't been mentioned yet, it was tremendous
     
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  4. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    haters gonna hate but Nadal / Tobasco 2009 was one of the most epic displays of tennis i've seen
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
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  5. ARIARAIDEN

    ARIARAIDEN Rookie

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    Verdasco-Nadal AO 09 by far
     
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  6. d4o

    d4o New User

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    del po vs simon USO '08
    Melzer vs murray USO '08
    ferrer vs nishikori USO '08
    mahut vs giovanni lapentti USO qual '09
     
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  7. Semi-Pro

    Semi-Pro Hall of Fame

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    Although not a five set thriller, Agassi vs Kafelnikov 2000 aussie final is one of my personal favorite matches, it's really when I started watching more tennis in depth...
     
    #7
  8. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    Federer vs Nadal in the 08 Wimbledon finals ranks up there as one of the best, also the 09 australian open final with Nadal, Federer is a great match.
     
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  9. Eternity

    Eternity Semi-Pro

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    My favourite matches: Nadal vs Verdasco (2009 AO), Roddick vs El Aynaoui (2003 AO)
     
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  10. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    Federer-Safin AO SF 2005
    Federer-Nadal Rome F 2006
    Federer-Sampras Wimbledon R16 2001
    Federer-Nadal Wimbledon 2007
    Nadal-Verdasco AO SF 2009
    Sampras-Becker WTF F 1996
    Sampras-Agassi USO QF 2001
    Agassi-Rafter Wimbledon SF 2000-2001
     
    #10
  11. Outbeyond

    Outbeyond Legend

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    Nadal-Djoker, US Open 2010...loved the last game, especially. Djoker was highly amusing and sweet.
     
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  12. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Borg - McEnroe, Wimbledon 1980
    Graf - Navratilova, Wimbledon 1988
    Sampras - Becker, Hannover 1996 (YEC)
    Graf - Hingis, FO 1999
    Nadal - Federer, Wimbledon 2008
     
    #12
  13. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Sampras vs Becker Masters Cup final 1996.. ode to Carpet and fast tennis
     
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  14. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Safin Fed AO-05
    Venus-Serena Wimby 08
    Nadal/Verdasco AO-09
    Nadal/Djoker Madrid 09
    Federer/Nadal battle of the surfaces :) lol there were some sick rallies.

    [​IMG]
     
    #14
  15. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Cash-Lendl US Open semi around 84ish was my most exciting to watch.
     
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  16. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    Nadal-Verdasco Australian Open 2009
    Federer-Sampras Wimbledon 2001
    Federer-Roddick Wimbledon 2009
    Wawrinka-Youzhny US Open 2010
    Federer-Roddick Masters Cup 2006
    Nadal-Djokovic Madrid 2009
    Gonzales-Roddick Australian Open 2010
    Murray-Roddick Wimbledon 2009
     
    #16
  17. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    ^I didn't put Wimbledon 2008 because I was traveling, so I couldn't see it.
     
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  18. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Best Match I Saw In Person

    Memory is fuzzy on date but I believe it was USO '79 QF night match...Gerulaitis over Kriek in four sets. Man, did they entertain with unreal court coverage! I had box seats right behind Gerulaitis' bench...he must have changed the gauze wrap on his grip four times on changeovers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
    #18
  19. Ripster

    Ripster Hall of Fame

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    Agassi-Sampras AO SF 2000
    Agassi-Coria RG QF 2003
    Coria-Nadal Rome F 2005
    Federer-Nadal Wimbledon F 2008
    Nadal-Verdasco AO SF 2009
     
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  20. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Federer vs Nadal Wimbledon 07 and 08
    Federer vs Nadal AO 09
    Nadal vs Verdasco AO 09
    Hewitt vs Nalbandian AO 05
    Roddick vs El Aynaoui AO 03


    I don't know why the Wim 07 final does not get much credit. The first 3 sets were absolutely incredible.
     
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  21. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    sampras/courier 95 australian
    agassi/sampras 2001?? australian
    federer/nadal wimbledon
    federer/roddick wimbledon
    sampras/agassi 2000?? USO (no breaks of serve match)
    borg/mcenroe wimbledon
    sampras/becker wtf

    really too many to list.
     
    #21
  22. Posture Guy

    Posture Guy Professional

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    Vitas was unreal, one of the quickest players I've ever seen.

    hate to see anyone's life cut short, much less a talent like that.
     
    #22
  23. GOAT BAAH!!!

    GOAT BAAH!!! Professional

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    Awesome list.
     
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  24. rafanadal fan4e

    rafanadal fan4e Banned

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    Nadal- federer wimbledon 2008
    Federer-djokovic us open sf 2010
    Federer-djokovic french open 2011
    Safin-federer ao sf 2005
    Nadal-verdasco ao sf 2009
     
    #24
  25. persianplayer

    persianplayer New User

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    #25
  26. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, especially the way it happened and all the speculation bcoz of his past rumored drug use. Glad I wasn't on TT at the time. Every moron out there would have gone wild until the autopsy showed what really happened.

    BTW, Kriek wasn't a slouch when it came to court speed. Maybe Nishikori/Dolgopolov will resurrect that match if they win their 1st rounds.
     
    #26
  27. piece

    piece Professional

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    Best Shotmaking:
    Federer v. Nalbandian 2005 TMC Final
    Federer v. Nadal 2009 AO Final

    Highest Quality Play:
    Federer v. Safin 2005 AO SF
    Federer v. Nadal 2006 Rome Final
    Nadal v. Verdasco 2009 AO SF


    The last one listed is my favourite match ever.
     
    #27
  28. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Fedal Rome 06 is INSANITY.
     
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  29. rossi46

    rossi46 Professional

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    Indeed, brilliant all court tennis unlike the garbage being played these days.
     
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  30. rossi46

    rossi46 Professional

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    Really ? Was Federer umpiring that match ??
     
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  31. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    That might be my favorite matchup between the two, even though my Fed lost. But that's what's great about the greatest matches: They prove a sports cliche true — it doesn't matter who won or lost, but how they played the game. In some of these matches, my favorite won; in some, he or she lost. In some it was so close it came down to a point or two and didn't really matter much in the end.

    I know some care to differ and wish to look only at the cold, hard results and use those numbers to fashion endless, apocryphal arguments over who is the greatest, yet the beauty of tennis is in its art and its heart. For me, rewatching moments from these brilliant tennis duels, the eventuality of a victor might as well be lost to the sands of time; these matches, divorced from the scoreboard, stand as testament to a shared greatness:

    MEN
    Roddick vs El Aynaoui AO 03 (my favorite)
    Federer vs Nadal Rome 06 (also Wimby 07-08, AO 09 and all of the WTF matches)
    Federer vs Nalbandian 2005 TMC Final (the two best shotmakers of their generation)
    Federer vs. Roddick Wimbledon 09 (so many good ones, despite the lopsided head-to-head; I'd also include Montreal 03, Wimby 04, U.S. Open 06)
    Federer vs. Djokovic FO 11 (great drama, and tennis)
    Tsonga vs. Nadal AO 08 (So it was kind of a beatdown, but needed something to represent Tsonga's best)

    WOMEN
    Venus vs. Serena, Wimby 08 and Doha Tour Finals 09 RR (Sisters at their best, each winning one of the matches)
    Venus vs. Davenport Wimby 05 (epic)
    Sharapova vs. Serena Wimby 04 (Maria shows her stuff at a young age)
    Sharapova vs. Henin AO 08 (More to represent Maria for that entire tournament, one of the best displays of women's tennis in the past decade)
    Kuznetsova vs. Schiavone AO 11 (only saw the last set, but what a set; I'm sure there was more good tennis than that entire Isner-Mahut snorefest).
    Zvonareva vs. Tennis Racquet Charleston 10 (Vera won)

    My knowledge of matches older than a decade or so isn't strong, so I'll just leave with a few matchups that I enjoy via YouTube highlights: Evert-Navratilova, Graf-Seles, Agassi-Sampras, Borg-McEnroe.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
    #31
  32. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    Over the last 10 years I really enjoyed the El Aynaoui-Novak and Sanguinetti-Srichaphan matches at the 2003 and 2005 US Opens respectively. They were both 3rd round matches that were settled by a 5th set tiebreak.

    El Aynaoui seemed to played an insane number of 5 set thrillers during his career. His lost an incredibly high quality 5 set final to Corretja at Amsterdam in 2001. His personality, playing style and variety and the fact that he participated in so many highly entertaining matches, all made him an immensely popular player.

    The 3rd round match between Santoro and Gaudio at the 2006 Australian Open, which Sanotoro won in 5 sets, was amazing as well.
     
    #32
  33. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    I agree with much of what you said :) Venus/Lindsay 05 is pretty insane as is Venus/Serena Doha RR. What happened in Roddick/El Aynaoui AO 03? Everyone is mentioning that but I didn't see it. I was more of a casual fan then.
     
    #33
  34. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    That's easily correctable, here's the whole match on youtube with decent quality and only tennis(everything else is edited out):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2L3hhzqjwI

    I think Lukierosie is JennyS from here but I'm not sure.
     
    #34
  35. Gizo

    Gizo Hall of Fame

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    The Roddick-El Aynaoui was record breaking at the time. Finishing at 21-19 it was the longest 5th set in the open era (until the Isner-Mahut Wimbledon 2010 match of course) and the match lasted for 83 games. Roddick said that this victory was a big turning point in his career, triggering his stellar 2003 season.

    Both Roddick and El Aynaoui played some superb all-court tennis (yes even Roddick) in that match, and battle like warriors.

    As I was saying earlier, for El Aynaoui long, thrilling matches have been a frequent occurence for him.

    Roddick has also featured in numerous long 5th sets as well, with that 21-19 set being the only one that he won. He lost 17-15 to Tursunov in the 2006 Davis Cup, 8-6 to Gasquet at Wimbledon 2007, 8-6 to Kohlschreiber at the 2008 Australian Open, 16-14 to Federer at Wimbeldon 2009 and 9-7 to Lu at Wimbledon 2010.
     
    #35
  36. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Nadal vs Verdasco 2009 Aussie Open
    Becker vs Edberg 1990 Wimbledon Final
    Federer vs Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Final
     
    #36
  37. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Some these matches were downloaded, watched on tv or live:
    1995 AO Qtrs Sampras and Courier
    2000 AO Semi Sampras Agassi
    2005 AO Semi Safin Federer
    2009 AO Semi Verdasco Nadal
    2009 AO Final Federer Nadal

    1979 FO Final Borg Pecci
    1981 FO Final Borg Lendl
    1984 FO Final McEnroe Lendl
    2000 FO Semifinal Kuerten Ferrero(5 sets)
    2007 FO Final Federer Nadal
    2009 FO Semifinal DelPotro Federer
    2011 FO Semifinal Federer Djokovic
    2011 FO Final Federer Nadal

    1977 Wimbledon Semifinals Gerulatis and Borg
    1980 Wimbledon Final Borg and McEnroe
    1990 Wimbledon Final Becker Edberg
    1991 Wimbledon Semifinal Edberg Micheal
    2001 Wimbledon 4th Round Federer Sampras
    2001 Wimbledon Final Ivanisvic Rafter
    2007 Wimbledon Final Federer Nadal
    2008 Wimbledon Final Federer Nadal
    2009 Wimbledon Final Federer Roddick


    1980 and 84 US Open Semifinals McEnroe Connors
    1980 US Open Final Borg McEnroe
    1988 US Open Final Willander Lendl
    1992 US Open Edberg-Lendl, Edberg-Chang
    1998 US Open Sampras Rafter
    2005 US Open Final Agassi Federer
    2009 US Open Final DelPotro Federer
     
    #37
  38. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Nice list, agree with all.

    Also, not meaning to be a **** or anything, but what about FEd Roddick USO 2006? I liked that match.

    Also, I know these were blowouts, but Fed Roddick AO 2007 and Fed Hewit USO 2004 were the BEST individual performances I have ever seen.
     
    #38
  39. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    There's way too many matches to list to do this topic justice, but I do think the greatest clay-court match I've ever seen was the 2005 Rome final between Nadal and Coria, Nadal winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.
     
    #39
  40. Joe Pike

    Joe Pike Banned

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    Both Venus and Lindsay hit more UEs than winners.
    Definitely not among the BEST 20 slam finals of the open era. Was a great match only because it was so close.
     
    #40
  41. Colin

    Colin Professional

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    Yeah, I was a more casual fan then, too, but I saw it on YouTube. I definitely recommend it, even if you're not a Roddick fan (I am, but it's mainly when he plays like this ... and makes you angry that he doesn't play like this more often).

    As others mentioned, it was an epic five-setter that's among the longest in tennis. But unlike some other epics (see Isner-Mahut), there's both drama from the fight and great tennis, with good variety on a medium-paced surface that allowed some nice rallies and some quick, aggressive play, as well. It's amazing they were able to keep up that level for five hours. It's stunning stuff.
     
    #41
  42. norbac

    norbac Legend

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    Cilic/Haas Wimbledon 09
     
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  43. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Talk Tennis Guru

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    Gonna watch it now. And thanks Zagor :)
     
    #43
  44. Wilander-Lendl USO 1989

    Edberg-Becker Wimby 1988 and 1990
     
    #44
  45. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Fixed ;)

    10 characters
     
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  46. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Actually, the 1989 Becker-Edberg Wimbledon final is one of my favorites.

    The 6-0 thumping that Becker gave to Edberg in the first set was beautiful. But I guess you are biased towards Edberg, your countryman ;-)
     
    #46
  47. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    And the way Becker responded to being 40-0 and 3 SPs down when Edberg served for the second set at 6-5. Becker came back to win 12 of the next 13 points to break Edberg's serve, win the tiebreak 7-1, and take the set.
     
    #47
  48. gsharma

    gsharma Professional

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    Agreed. Becker was on fire that day. Becker was the reason why I started playing/watching tennis.
     
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  49. Thats right, i typed wrong since that was the year Sweden won all 4 slams
     
    #49
  50. I am, thats why i picked the 88 and 90 final :) 89 final was painful even though i was only 10, still remember it.

    I also enjoeyed Edberg-Courier USO final in 1992 i think, probably Edbergs best match in his career.
     
    #50

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