I was able to find this report on the 2001 Novak match, and I'm now comfortable adding it to the list:I saw this post but couldn't find sources corroborating that Fed had MP in these matches. I'm hesitant to add them to the list until I can find more sources. I even tried looking into Swiss and German sources
I was able to find a report on the Escude match, which says he was down 3-5 in the TB but won 3 straight points (for 6-5). But it doesn't say if Fed had a MP at 7-6 or 8-7.
Thanks! What a relief!I think I finally cracked the mystery. The sources claiming Federer had a match point against Escude in their 2002 Rotterdam match all trace back to Simon Graf, a Swiss journalist. According to Simon himself (source), the match point came at 6-5 in the second set tiebreaker.
However, this is contradicted by all other independent sources:
On Friday, the 25-year-old trailed 3-5 in the second-set tiebreak before reeling off three straight points and holding on to knot the contest. (source)
Mené 5-3 dans le tie-break, il [Escude] a réussi un petit miracle pour égaliser à une manche partout. (source)
There were several mini breaks before Escude levelled the match by clinching the tiebreak 10-8 on his fourth set point. (source)
The facts are:
1. Federer led 5-3
2. Escude won 3 points in a row after that
3. Escude converted on his 4th set point
4. Tiebreaker ended 10-8
There is only one possible sequence of points that respects these conditions. Simon's version that Federer had one match point at 6-5 (or at any score, really) contradicts bullet points 2 and 3 (since Escude would have had a maximum of 3 set points)
The German version of the swissinfo.ch article on the match also claims Federer was two points away from winning (source):
Federer war in einer Neuauflage des letztjährigen Finals im Tiebreak des zweiten Satzes zwei Gewinnpunkte von einer gelungenen Revanche entfernt.
Unless some new evidence comes to light, it's safe to say Federer did NOT have a match point in this match.