Which is the greatest match of all time?

  • Navratilova vs Evert - FO Final 1985

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Nadal vs Verdasco - AO Semifinal 2009

    Votes: 5 8.9%
  • Borg vs McEnroe - Wimbledon final 1980

    Votes: 5 8.9%
  • Djokovic vs Nadal - AO Final 2012

    Votes: 2 3.6%
  • Seles vs Graf - FO Final 1992

    Votes: 2 3.6%
  • Nadal vs Federer - AO Final 2009

    Votes: 2 3.6%
  • Safin vs Federer - AO Semifinal 2005

    Votes: 10 17.9%
  • Rosewall vs Laver - WTC 1972

    Votes: 3 5.4%
  • Nadal vs Federer - Wimbledon Final 2008

    Votes: 20 35.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 10.7%

  • Total voters
    56
#1
When we discuss the greatest matches of all time it's obviously tough to reach any form of consensus. How important is the drama? The circumstances? The level of play? The importance for tennis as a sport?

Some might say that the quality is the most important aspect, while others tend to lean as much towards the drama and the importance for the sport. For me, personally, it's tough to rank one aspect above the other. But if the quality isn't there, the match can't be on the list - no matter how hyped it is beforehand or afterwards.

However, a few matches throughout the history of tennis have stood out from the rest by ticking each category off with a big, fat pen.

Can TTW reach any form of agreement - which match is truly the best one ever? Which ones deserve to be in the top 10? Make your voice heard!

 
#3
All good choices to be honest. Personal favorite of mine is the 2005 Wimbledon ladies final but that's not up there with some of these matches. I could make a top 10 list but it would be VERY difficult
 

Rod Laver

Professional
#9
The quality of play in those two matches were some of the highest ever.
For sure very high quality. I think they are missing a story for me and/or don't have as much significance as other matches have had. That's sorta my reasoning. Which one do you think out of those two displayed higher quality?
 
#10
In terms of history and hype, AO 17 should be there. If not mistaken the match broke some viewers record. Djokovic - Fed RG 11, the build up of the match was incredible and at the time everybody knew that if Djokovic reaches the final .. he would probably win the title, broke the win streak and attack the GS. In terms of quality Fed - Nadal and Fed - Djoker are far ahead of the most Djoko - Nadal matches.

And comparing female matches with male ones it's just not fair for the ladies ....
 
#11
For sure very high quality. I think they are missing a story for me and/or don't have as much significance as other matches have had. That's sorta my reasoning. Which one do you think out of those two displayed higher quality?
Probably the final but the fifth set was a huge letdown. That's why I rank the semi higher.
 

lud

Hall of Fame
#14
Rafter vs Agassi - Wimb 2000
Rafter vs Agassi - Wimb 2001
Nadal vs Federer - Aussie 2009
Nadal vs Verdasco - Aussie 2009
Federer vs Del Potro - Olympics 2012
Federer vs Nadal - Wimbledon 2007
Safin vs Federer - Aussie 2005
Djokovic vs Federer - Us Open 2011
Djokovic vs Federer - Wimbledon 2014
Federer vs Roddick - Wimbledon 2009

In no order.
 
#16
Nadal-Coria Rome 2005 is one of the best ever I've seen even if it lacked a drama or story. It was a brutal gladiatorial match between a very good clay court player and an upcoming great prodigy.
 
#17
In terms of quality, drama and what was at stake, can't help but choose Wimbledon 2008 as the greatest match played. AO 2005 between Federer and Safin is another big favourite. Had Safin won more Grand Slam titles, this match could go even higher on the list of the greatest matches of all time.
 
#18
AO absolutely rules when it comes to great matches.

A lot of factors contribute to greatness, but I will mention Roddick-El Aynaoui 2003 AO QF based on quality because nobody else has yet.
Rafter vs Agassi - Wimb 2000
Rafter vs Agassi - Wimb 2001
Nadal vs Federer - Aussie 2009
Nadal vs Verdasco - Aussie 2009
Federer vs Del Potro - Olympics 2012
Federer vs Nadal - Wimbledon 2007
Safin vs Federer - Aussie 2005
Djokovic vs Federer - Us Open 2011
Djokovic vs Federer - Wimbledon 2014
Federer vs Roddick - Wimbledon 2009

In no order.
Are those Greatest match of 2000s series finished? Gonna announce the winner?
 
#23
Just a few matches that haven't been mentioned:

Budge d. von Cramm, 1937 Davis Cup, U.S. vs. Germany
Laver d. Roche, 1969 AO Semifinal
Gonzalez d. Pasarell, 1969 Wimbledon 1st Rd.
Laver d. Rosewall, 1970 Dunlop Int. Final
Agassi d. Sampras, 1995 AO Final
Djokovic d. Nadal, 2011 USO Final
 
#24
Just a few matches that haven't been mentioned:

Budge d. von Cramm, 1937 Davis Cup, U.S. vs. Germany
Laver d. Roche, 1969 AO Semifinal
Gonzalez d. Pasarell, 1969 Wimbledon 1st Rd.
Laver d. Rosewall, 1970 Dunlop Int. Final
Agassi d. Sampras, 1995 AO Final
Djokovic d. Nadal, 2011 USO Final
Who are all those guys ?? I only recognise 2 names on the list, were they tennis players ??
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
#31
My top 10 matches in last 20 years, in no particular order (except for the first - Safin vs Fed):

Safin vs Federer AO 05

Federer vs Djokovic RG 11
Nadal vs Federer SW19 08
Agassi vs Rafter SW19 00
Rafter vs Agassi SW19 01

Sampras vs Agassi USO 01
Federer vs Nadal SW19 07
Federer vs DelPotro OG 12
Djokovic vs DelPotro SW19 13
Nadal vs Verdasco AO 09
 

kabob

Hall of Fame
#33
I love polls like these for how nonsensical they are. Most of us aren't 60+ year old geriatrics that were even born much less remember seeing some of those matches from the '90s and earlier so not sure how we'd assess if one of them was a "greatest ever." And no, bad resolution highlight reels aren't going to give you a feel for an entire match.
 
#36
Just a few matches that haven't been mentioned:

Budge d. von Cramm, 1937 Davis Cup, U.S. vs. Germany
Laver d. Roche, 1969 AO Semifinal
Gonzalez d. Pasarell, 1969 Wimbledon 1st Rd.
Laver d. Rosewall, 1970 Dunlop Int. Final
Agassi d. Sampras, 1995 AO Final
Djokovic d. Nadal, 2011 USO Final
2011 USO had a great 3rd set but was basically a beatdown.
 
#37
My personal Top 5:
1) Fed/Nadal 2007 Wimbledon (yes, not 2008!)
2) Fed/Nadal 2008 Wimbledon
3) Borg/Mac 1980 Wimbledon
4) Fed/Nole 2011 FO
5) Fed/Nadal 2017 AO (not as high level as 2009 but more exciting 5th set and felt more momentous)
 
#38
I prefer the 1977 Wimbledon SF between Bjorn and Vitas, rather than say, the 1980 Wimbledon Final. It would have been a different experience watching it live though, a much more thrilling experience, on the edge of your seat stuff.

It's extremely difficult to list only ten matches these days. I'm planning on making an extensive top 100-200 list sometime later on.
 
#39
Pete-Becker YEC 1996
Pete-Agassi USO 2001
Safin-Fed AO 2005
Rafa-Fed Rome 2006
Rafa-Fed Wimbledon 2008
Rafa-Verdasco AO 2009
Fed-Djoker RG 2011
Djoker-Rafa AO 2012
Djoker-Stan AO 2013
Djoker-Fed Wimbledon 2014

A lot of other great matches as well in recent times, most notably Rafa-Coria Rome epic as well as several AO encounters, but I'd probably pick these ten. Also I didn't watch tennis before 90s nor did I like it at all from the bits I saw so won't be picking anything there.
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#41
My top 10 matches in last 20 years, in no particular order (except for the first - Safin vs Fed):

Safin vs Federer AO 05

Federer vs Djokovic RG 11
Nadal vs Federer SW19 08
Agassi vs Rafter SW19 00
Rafter vs Agassi SW19 01

Sampras vs Agassi USO 01
Federer vs Nadal SW19 07
Federer vs DelPotro OG 12
Djokovic vs DelPotro SW19 13
Nadal vs Verdasco AO 09
The Novak-Delpo 13 Wimbledon match was a killer, especially for Novak. Delpo was sending off rockets, knocking Novak down again and again. Novak was lucky to get out alive, never mind the winner. Unfortunately, IMO, he did not recover enough to win the final. My second all time favorite was the 11 semi between Novak and Federer. Towards the end of the third set, the announcers and most fans, were thrilled that Fed was going to win. Then, Lightning Struck!
 

thrust

Hall of Fame
#42
The Novak-Delpo 13 Wimbledon match was a killer, especially for Novak. Delpo was sending off rockets, knocking Novak down again and again. Novak was lucky to get out alive, never mind the winner. Unfortunately, IMO, he did not recover enough to win the final. My second all time favorite was the 11 semi between Novak and Federer. Towards the end of the third set, the announcers and most fans, were thrilled that Fed was going to win. Then, Lightning Struck!
Actually, my all time favorite match was Rosewall-Laver 72 WCT final. I saw it live on TV and nearly had a heart attack near the end when it looked like Laver was going to win. Then, those two backhand returns destroyed Laver, who said that was his most disappointing loss of his great career.
 

Druss

Hall of Fame
#43
Actually, my all time favorite match was Rosewall-Laver 72 WCT final. I saw it live on TV and nearly had a heart attack near the end when it looked like Laver was going to win. Then, those two backhand returns destroyed Laver, who said that was his most disappointing loss of his great career.
I wasn't born yet, but sounds like it was a thriller!
 

NatF

Bionic Poster
#44
Actually, my all time favorite match was Rosewall-Laver 72 WCT final. I saw it live on TV and nearly had a heart attack near the end when it looked like Laver was going to win. Then, those two backhand returns destroyed Laver, who said that was his most disappointing loss of his great career.
"That thief Rosewall"

A couple of moments of arrogance may have been the difference there. The result may have been different if Laver served to the forehand...
 
#45
Outsider pick but I really enjoyed djokovic federer Wimbledon 2014.
Novak was under a lot of pressure to win and was favoured. Played very well and still federer snuck in a 5th set. Took tremendous mental strength to remain composed. I think that was djokovics best grass court performance. On the flip side federers comeback was incredible. People knock him for his mental ability but it's there and it's strong.
 
#46
I wasn't born yet, but sounds like it was a thriller!
4-6 6-0 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(5). Seems fairly similar to the well-known 2011 USO semi, only move the fourth set (the eventual loser winning a TB) to the first position.

As Laver himself recounts, he led *5-4 in the final tiebreak over a visibly tired Rosewall, with victory in close sight, but then Kenny hit two epic BH returns that left Rod completely dumbfounded, suddenly it's match point Rosewall, and Laver, still shocked, puts a tame 2nd serve return into the net. Probably Rosewall's greatest win, considering he was 37 and it was his last topmost tournament win (still won a lot of good tournaments afterwards, but not on that level).
 
#47
4-6 6-0 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(5). Seems fairly similar to the well-known 2011 USO semi, only move the fourth set (the eventual loser winning a TB) to the first position.

As Laver himself recounts, he led *5-4 in the final tiebreak over a visibly tired Rosewall, with victory in close sight, but then Kenny hit two epic BH returns that left Rod completely dumbfounded, suddenly it's match point Rosewall, and Laver, still shocked, puts a tame 2nd serve return into the net. Probably Rosewall's greatest win, considering he was 37 and it was his last topmost tournament win (still won a lot of good tournaments afterwards, but not on that level).
Yes, Muscles rates that win (plus the 1971 final) as his greatest win(s). The WCT Finals at that time were true majors and even more important than several GS tournaments. Being a Rosewall admirer, I still believe that Ken's greatest win was the 1970 US Open win because he had to win seven rounds to get the trophy and that title, together with his Wimbledon final in the same year puts Rosewall to the No.1 place for 1970, together with Laver and Newcombe.
 
#48
The matches which most held me spellbound are All Martina Hingis vs Serena or Venus Williams affairs

The contrast in styles was stunning and the ones that went down to the wire were invariably high tension, high drama stuff.
 
#50
2011 USO had a great 3rd set but was basically a beatdown.
The intrigue of many of those Djokovic vs. Nadal matches was that, as great a Djokovic was playing, until the last point was played, there was always the sense that if Djokovic showed any sense of vulnerability, Nadal might sieze the upper hand and mount one of his famous comebacks.
 
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