Highest level final at each slam since 2000?

jl809

Hall of Fame
For me:

Australian Open: 2012 over 2009 (because of the 5th set in 2009). A lot of great Aussie Open matches down the years weren’t finals

French Open: this will invite debate, but 2014. Compared with 2006 and 2007 where Fed couldn’t cope in the final stages, and 2012 which had patchy periods of play from both, this is probably the most consistent final from both players with Nadal having to produce an ATG forehand performance to win

Wimbledon: 2008 or 2007 obviously, Fed fans will argue 07 predictably and Nadal fans will argue 2008. Imo Fed was better in 07 than in 08 and Nadal was better in 08 than in 07. It’s a good split

US Open: so it’s probably 2009 with the crispy hitting... but I would like to shout out 2015, where Federer had to try to sink a Djokovic who was completely GOATing from the baseline by hitting winners from everywhere (and he nearly succeeded). I can’t give it to 2011 because of the way Nadal fell off in the 4th.

Any I’ve missed out on this list?
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
I would probably agree with all you said,

I personally though would have RG 2007 and W 2007 has the highest level for the final. To me, this is the only real time both were at their peaks fully on both surfaces. RG 2007 minus Federer on break points was actually very high quality, and for me, personally it is the best match they played at RG. Nadal was in his full pomp that day, and Federer for the first time ever truly stood up to the backhand attack, hammering backhands back at Nadal, it was more about his forehand in that match. But yes, both were moving very well overall. Wimbledon 2007 trumps 2008 for overall quality of play and shotmaking, it lacks the drama which kind of warps the 2008 match, but there was just so much choking in that match, which could have ended in straights the way it was going, in 2007 it didn't look like it was going to be anything other than a brutal dogfight from start to finish.

I don't rate RG 2014 too high, because Nadal was carrying back issues around, and Djokovic was physically sick on the court, spitting water out, and clearly not well after getting hit with sun stroke after the sudden change in temperature from first week to the second.

USO 2009, yeah, this was more than likely the best final there, Federer still very much prime mode and Del Potro in God mode.

AO 2012, again, have to agree with this one. AO 2009 was on its way to being better, but really blew it in the fifth, it was a foregone conclusion who was winning, while in 2012, you never truly knew until the very end.
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't get why some keep mentioning the one sided fifth set in AO 2009 final while totally ignoring the totally one sided second and third sets in 2012. (and the fourth set should have been another routine 6-3, don't know how Djokovic didn't win it).

AO 2012 final is one of the most overrated matches. Djokovic was -12 on winners/unforced errors, while Nadal was -27. There is absolutely no way it was a better match than AO 2009 final, definitely not by quality.

And of course there is no way RG 2014 was the best final. Not even close. And USO 2015 over 2009 or 2019, seriously? Are you just trying to hype Djokovic's wins? Based on your logic I'm surprised you didn't put Wimbledon 2015/2019 over 2008.
 
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StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
I would probably agree with all you said,

I personally though would have RG 2007 and W 2007 has the highest level for the final. To me, this is the only real time both were at their peaks fully on both surfaces. RG 2007 minus Federer on break points was actually very high quality, and for me, personally it is the best match they played at RG. Nadal was in his full pomp that day, and Federer for the first time ever truly stood up to the backhand attack, hammering backhands back at Nadal, it was more about his forehand in that match. But yes, both were moving very well overall. Wimbledon 2007 trumps 2008 for overall quality of play and shotmaking, it lacks the drama which kind of warps the 2008 match, but there was just so much choking in that match, which could have ended in straights the way it was going, in 2007 it didn't look like it was going to be anything other than a brutal dogfight from start to finish.

I don't rate RG 2014 too high, because Nadal was carrying back issues around, and Djokovic was physically sick on the court, spitting water out, and clearly not well after getting hit with sun stroke after the sudden change in temperature from first week to the second.

USO 2009, yeah, this was more than likely the best final there, Federer still very much prime mode and Del Potro in God mode.

AO 2012, again, have to agree with this one. AO 2009 was on its way to being better, but really blew it in the fifth, it was a foregone conclusion who was winning, while in 2012, you never truly knew until the very end.
Lol. After 2011 there was a very clear favorite in this final, MUCH more clear than in 2009 when many actually thought Federer will win. There were exactly 5 seconds during the whole match when I thought Nadal has a chance to win it, and once he missed that backhand I knew it was over. (yes, even before he got broken back I had no doubt he missed his only chance)
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Lol. After 2011 there was a very clear favorite in this final, MUCH more clear than in 2009 when many actually thought Federer will win. There were exactly 5 seconds during the whole match when I thought Nadal has a chance to win it, and once he missed that backhand I knew it was over. (yes, even before he got broken back I had no doubt he missed his only chance)

Haha, you clearly were not around here then. Djokovic had gone 7-5 in the fifth set in nearly five hours, with a day less of rest, that completely killed his chances to be the overwhelming fav, a fav yes, but not the way you are describing it. I was here, I know what happened.


The AO 2009 was done by the end of the fourth set, everyone knows this. Of course AO 2009 was on its way to being better, hence I mentioned that, of course you let that slide. Overall, AO 2012 wins out because the fifth set was a tussle, and was very tight until the end, had AO 2009 continued on the path the first four sets that put out, it would have won, but you don't get to be the best match, if the last set of the match was a complete stinker.
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
Haha, you clearly were not around here then. Djokovic had gone 7-5 in the fifth set in nearly five hours, with a day less of rest, that completely killed his chances to be the overwhelming fav, a fav yes, but not the way you are describing it. I was here, I know what happened.


The AO 2009 was done by the end of the fourth set, everyone knows this. Of course AO 2009 was on its ways to being better, hence I mentioned that, of course you let that slide. Overall, AO 2012 wins out because the fifth set was a tussle, and was very tight until the end, had AO 2009 continued on the path the first four sets that put out, it would have won, but you don't get to be the best match, if the last set of the match was a complete stinker.
So we have to simply ignore the one sided second and especially third sets in 2012? It should have ended in 4 anyway. AO 2009 final actually had more close sets. The fifth set is not the only one that matters. If a match which had 4 better sets is a worse match just because the other match had a closer fifth set then we should conclude Isner-Mahut was the greatest match of all time.
 
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Hitman

Bionic Poster
So we have to simply ignore the one sided second and especially third sets in 2012? It should have ended in 4 anyway. AO 2009 final actually had more close sets. The fifth set is not the only one that matters.

No, what am I saying here? I am saying that if you look at the first four sets, then AO 2009 was heading towards being the greater match. But you cannot be the greatest match, if you have lost all the tension a full set in advance. Everyone knew who was winning that match in that fifth, no one knew for sure who was winning in AO 2012 until the very end. You take the tension out of the match and it becomes a foregone conclusion, it negatively impacts the match, that is how things work.

AO 2012 is overall the greater match, AO 2009 was on its way to being that after the first four sets, but that horrible drop in the fifth killed the tension and fireworks were gone.
 

ForehandCross

G.O.A.T.
Umm wasn't RG 2014 the one where Djokovic was puking on court and Nadal was hooking him with crazy moonballish FHDTL?
I think Puerta vs Nadal and Djokovic vs Nadal 2012 and Nose vs Nadal 2007,11 were better.
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
No, what am I saying here? I am saying that if you look at the first four sets, then AO 2009 was heading towards being the greater match. But you cannot be the greatest match, if you have lost all the tension a full set in advance. Everyone knew who was winning that match in that fifth, no one knew for sure who was winning in AO 2012 until the very end. You take the tension out of the match and it becomes a foregone conclusion, it negatively impacts the match, that is how things work.

AO 2012 is overall the greater match, AO 2009 was on its way to being that after the first four sets, but that horrible drop in the fifth killed the tension and fireworks were gone.
Again, you are totally ignoring my points about the second and third sets. For a very big part of the 2012 final it looked like another 4 set beatdown like in Wimbledon and USO 2011 finals. Only when Nadal won the fourth set (and it never looked like he was going to win it), maybe some had doubts. In 2009 there was a much longer period when you didn't know who will win. How is the fifth set more important than the second and third sets?

Not to mention that the stats (-12 in winners/UE for Djokovic and -27 for Nadal) can't be ignored. Just because a match is close, doesn't mean it was high quality.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
Again, you are totally ignoring my points about the second and third sets. For a very big part of the 2012 final it looked like another 4 set beatdown like in Wimbledon and USO 2011 finals. Only when Nadal won the fourth set (and it never looked like he was going to win it), maybe some had doubts. In 2009 there was a much longer period when you didn't know who will win. How is the fifth set more important than the second and third sets?

Not to mention that the stats (-12 in winners/UE for Djokovic and -27 for Nadal) can't be ignored. Just because a match is close, doesn't mean it was high quality.

I know your points, hence why I am saying that it was on its way to being better. But when the tension was meant to hit fever pitch, it dropped like a dead duck.

Take at look at RG 2013....what makes that an iconic match? Nadal was on his way to a comortable win, Djokovic even TANKED the third set, but look how that fifth set made that match legendary. The fifth set is very critical in making matches what they are, and the level was very high to make up for the more or less average to bad couple of sets prior.

Stats is not enough, look at level of play and the mental application to fight for points. A lot of points in AO 2012 ended in UEs because they couldn't win the point as the other player simply refused to miss or to let a winner go past them. There was far more grit shown.

Anyways, we are done with this, I have nothing further to discuss with you on this.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
RG 14 was low quality match.
That's an exaggeration. It was worse than RG 2012 and RG 2013, but better quality than any of RG 2020, RG 2021 and RG 2022 (and these three did have excellent quality, but because you are a well-known Nadal detractor you will deny it).
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
That's an exaggeration. It was worse than RG 2012 and RG 2013, but better quality than any of RG 2020, RG 2021 and RG 2022 (and these three did have excellent quality, but because you are a well-known Nadal detractor you will deny it).

And that is enough for it not to be considered as the highest level at RG this century. By their standards, overall it was not as good as other matches, even their 2008 match was much better, and that was straight sets for Nadal, but Djokovic still did play in that match IMO.
 

jl809

Hall of Fame
USO 2015 over 2009 or 2019, seriously? Are you just trying to hype Djokovic's wins? Based on your logic I'm surprised you didn't put Wimbledon 2015/2019 over 2008.

I get your point about AO 09 but I am absolutely sticking by this. Djokovic > Medvedev and Federer > Nadal from 2019, and I say this as a big, big defender of the 2019 final on this site. Plus I did say 09 was likely #1 - just wanted to mention that 15 had Djokovic at close to his top immovable baseline level, and even at that level still nearly getting beaten by a postprime Fed who had decided on all out attack instead of engaging with the baselining. And that’s because he did it well - not perfectly ofc, but still with quality. If that match had gone to 5 it would have more credit on here
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
And that is enough for it not to be considered as the highest level at RG this century. By their standards, overall it was not as good as other matches, even their 2008 match was much better, and that was straight sets for Nadal, but Djokovic still did play in that match IMO.
I agree that their RG 2008 SF could be considered better, at least in terms of intensity and physicality. Nadal had a more offensive forehand in 2014, but they both were in better physical shape in the 2008 crash.
 

Hitman

Bionic Poster
I agree that their RG 2008 SF could be considered better, at least in terms of intensity and physicality. Nadal had a more offensive forehand in 2014, but they both were in better physical shape in the 2008 crash.

Yeah, the 2008 match, despite being straight sets is actually a good match to watch. That was peak Nadal and Djokovic had his moments to shine also, especially in that third set. I felt 2014, with both physically ailing, it did impact the quality somewhat, which is why I personally don't rate it too high and often overlook it.
 

killerboss

Professional
Australian Open - 2012
French Open - highest level for 1 player 2008, for 2 players 2011
Wimbledon - 2008
US Open - 2002
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
And USO 2015 over 2009 or 2019, seriously? Are you just trying to hype Djokovic's wins?

USO 09 final was better than USO 15 final quality wise.
But USO 19 final wasn't.

Fed of USO 15 final would've carved up Med like butter through knife. Nadal of USO 19 final could've ended it in straights.
Djoko of USO 15 final would've won it easily too (significantly better than Nadal of USO 19 final)
 

Kralingen

Talk Tennis Guru
Only clear one is 2002 US Open. PETE and Andre dazzled in a way that has not been matched since, even by the Big 3.

And their '01 QF was miles better as a match.

Lesson in there to be sure.
 
I don't get why some keep mentioning the one sided fifth set in AO 2009 final while totally ignoring the totally one sided second and third sets in 2012. (and the fourth set should have been another routine 6-3, don't know how Djokovic didn't win it).

AO 2012 final is one of the most overrated matches. Djokovic was -12 on winners/unforced errors, while Nadal was -27. There is absolutely no way it was a better match than AO 2009 final, definitely not by quality.

And of course there is no way RG 2014 was the best final. Not even close. And USO 2015 over 2009 or 2019, seriously? Are you just trying to hype Djokovic's wins? Based on your logic I'm surprised you didn't put Wimbledon 2015/2019 over 2008.

Agreed with most of this, but although I agree that Djokovic should have broken for 5-3 in the 2012 fourth set, him dropping serve at 5-3 wouldn't have been that surprising, so he wasn't as close to the 6-3 set as all that.
 

StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
USO 09 final was better than USO 15 final quality wise.
But USO 19 final wasn't.

Fed of USO 15 final would've carved up Med like butter through knife. Nadal of USO 19 final could've ended it in straights.
Djoko of USO 15 final would've won it easily too (significantly better than Nadal of USO 19 final)
Pretty much any Nadal (except for 2015-2016) would have beaten 2015 Wawrinka in RG pretty easily. So it means Wawrinka didn't play great in the final? It doesn't work that way. There are also matchup issues.

I don't see a single reason to hype USO 2015 final. Federer missed so many chances, it isn't even funny. Had the chances to win in 4, but somehow found a way to lose in 4. Even though 2015 Djokovic was better than 2019 Nadal, it doesn't mean Federer's choking deserves more credit than Medvedev's comeback. If anything, this final just shows that 2015 was already part of the weak era, if this Federer was Djokovic's main competition. This match should never be mentioned in the list of best USO finals.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Pretty much any Nadal (except for 2015-2016) would have beaten 2015 Wawrinka in RG pretty easily. So it means Wawrinka didn't play great in the final? It doesn't work that way. There are also matchup issues.

I don't see a single reason to hype USO 2015 final. Federer missed so many chances, it isn't even funny. Had the chances to win in 4, but somehow found a way to lose in 4. Even though 2015 Djokovic was better than 2019 Nadal, it doesn't mean Federer's choking deserves more credit than Medvedev's comeback. If anything, this final just shows that 2015 was already part of the weak era, if this Federer was Djokovic's main competition. This match should never be mentioned in the list of best USO finals.

its not about matchup alone. That's why I also mentioned Djoko of USO 15 final would beat 2019 USO Med easily.
Oh and I'll throw in that USO 15 fed would also beat USO 19 nadal (that's the loser of the USO 15 final vs winner of USO 19 final).
no prizes for guessing USO 15 djoko vs USO 19 nadal. easy win for Djoko.

Med was down 2 sets to love and attempted comeback vs a well past it nadal. would've lost in straights if not for nadal being sloppy.
Fed was easily the superior player in the 2nd set of USO 15 final and was close to going up two sets to one.
Fed was up against a significantly tougher opponent. Fed choked vs peak Djoko.

Not hyping USO 15 final. Just saying it was better level wise than USO 19 final.

2015 was on same level as 2006/10 - relatively weak years, but not part of inflation era.
 
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StrongRule

Talk Tennis Guru
its not about matchup alone. That's why I also mentioned Djoko of USO 15 final would beat 2019 USO Med easily.
Oh and I'll throw in that USO 15 fed would also beat USO 19 nadal (that's the loser of the USO 15 final vs winner of USO 19 final).
no prizes for guessing USO 15 djoko vs USO 19 nadal. easy win for Djoko.

Med was down 2 sets to love and attempted comeback vs a well past it nadal. would've lost in straights if not for nadal being sloppy.
Fed was easily the superior player in the 2nd set of USO 15 final and was close to going up two sets to one.
Fed was up against a significantly tougher opponent. Fed choked vs peak Djoko.

Not hyping USO 15 final. Just saying it was better level wise than USO 19 final.

2015 was on same level as 2006/10 - relatively weak years, but not part of inflation era.
Nadal got complicated a bit when being 2 sets and a break up, but that's a usual thing for him, and has nothing to do with him being past his prime. He was also two sets and a break up in both RG 2011 and 2012 finals, and ended up losing the third sets. Even worse missed leads in RG 2013 semifinal. Also let Ferrer break back in the third set of RG 2013 final. And many more examples. Most of the time he got away with it, and Med actually did a better job than many others, almost punished Nadal for it. It feels like the reason why the part in bold is being mentioned so much is because people underrate Medvedev. Somehow I don't hear anybody saying Nadal should have beaten Djokovic in straight sets a few weeks ago, even though he missed a double break lead in the second set. Against Djokovic it suddenly isn't choking.

Anyway, I for sure don't think 2015 Federer would be a lock against 2019 Nadal. 2015 Federer is being overrated way too much on this forum, while Nadal in USO is being underrated.

It's not just about the missed BPs in the 2015 final, Federer in the third set dropped his own serve twice from game points, both times with some bad errors.
 

NastyWinners

Hall of Fame
Aussie Open: 2009 - Federer vs Nadal with Nadal winning
Roland Garros: 2015 - Wawrinka vs Novak with Wawrinka winning
Wimbledon: 2009 - Federer vs Roddick with Federer winning
US Open: 2009 - Federer vs DelPo with Delpo winning.

Damn 2009 was a good year.
 

abmk

Bionic Poster
Nadal got complicated a bit when being 2 sets and a break up, but that's a usual thing for him, and has nothing to do with him being past his prime. He was also two sets and a break up in both RG 2011 and 2012 finals, and ended up losing the third sets. Even worse missed leads in RG 2013 semifinal. Also let Ferrer break back in the third set of RG 2013 final. And many more examples. Most of the time he got away with it, and Med actually did a better job than many others, almost punished Nadal for it. It feels like the reason why the part in bold is being mentioned so much is because people underrate Medvedev. Somehow I don't hear anybody saying Nadal should have beaten Djokovic in straight sets a few weeks ago, even though he missed a double break lead in the second set. Against Djokovic it suddenly isn't choking.

Anyway, I for sure don't think 2015 Federer would be a lock against 2019 Nadal. 2015 Federer is being overrated way too much on this forum, while Nadal in USO is being underrated.

It's not just about the missed BPs in the 2015 final, Federer in the third set dropped his own serve twice from game points, both times with some bad errors.

2012 RG final: conditions changed significantly, hence Djokovic was able to hit through Nadal not being affected much by topspin. had zero to do with choking
2011 RG final: fed should've won the 1st set anyways. up 5-2, SP.. even 2nd set was close. don't bring me that BS that nadal somehow choked in the 3rd set. Also 4th set, down 3 BPs, nadal played stellar tennis to save them. if you call that match as any sort of choking from Nadal, all I can say is that's laughable. match should've actually gone 5. Nadal's mental strength combined with fed choking/missing meant it ended in 4 sets.

2019 USO final: not just about being a break up, but missed very easy shots towards 2nd half of the set (2 of them IIRC, one of them being an overhead).

2015 fed wouldn't be a lock vs 2019 Nadal at USO, but he'd be clear favorite.
and USO 15 fed was up vs peak Djokovic, an entirely different animal than 19 med.

As far as 2022 RG QF is concerned, Nadal at this age is bound to have some dip. Djokovic played stellar from down 0-3. And anyways both breaks Nadal got were long games.

Edit:
This missed overhead at 2:33:17 with Med down BP at 4 all.
->

Nadal would've broken and served for the match.

in the game nadal got broken at 3-2:

easy dumped BH UE
DF
easy missed fh volley

med earned one point through passing shot
semi-earned another through semi-forced error.

that's more Nadal fault than Med earning it, though Med did do his bit.
 
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