Top 20 GOAT matches?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by captainbryce, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. buscemi

    buscemi Semi-Pro

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    Great list. I wonder whether you gave any consideration to these matches:

    1. 1993 Wimbledon QF: Becker beats Stich, 7-5, 6-7, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4
    2. 1983 WCT Finals: McEnroe beats Lendl, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6
    3. 1992 U.S. Open QF/SF: Edberg's 5 set wins over Lendl/Chang
    4. 1975 U.S. Open SF: Orantes beats Vilas, 4-6, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4
     
  2. SamSpade

    SamSpade New User

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    Buscemi - we must have terribly similar lists lol. In some ways that is good, gives me confidence that my research efforts have been pretty thorough. Yes, all fours of those matches would be in my top 100. A few points - the McEnroe-Lendl match is clearly the best indoor match they ever had and I believe the best they had period (being that I think it superior to their French final). That said it is a nearly impossible match to find complete and only a few brief highlights seem to be available online. As for Dallas WCT matches I did think it 2nd behind Rosewall-Laver but the 1975 SF Borg-Laver would be close too. Again, the basic problem is video. As for Becker-Stich, yes a great all-German battle between former champions. Here I just found Becker's 90s period to be an embarassament of riches and slightly preferred the narrative of the 1995 Pioline match. Yet another near miss (that would be top 100) and that makes for a nice trilogy is W SF from 1997 Pioline-Stich.
    Has there ever been a tournament with more great matches than the 1992 US open? I included two in the top 50 here and as you mentioned Edberg has three on my list - Chang, Lendl and Krajicek. The Edberg-Lendl match somewhat loses steam in my opinion as it is played over two days (generally not a good sign in my opinion). Edberg and Lendl always had big matches burn i think the best is the 1985 Australian Semifinal. As for Chang, the match is certainly long and grueling. My reason for not including it was a prevailing notion that it wasn't an especially clean match - rather like Connors-McEnroe 1982 W F). I would go with the Chang-Edberg 1989 F F in part for the narrative - youngest ever champion - between the two. As for Orantes and Vilas - two clay greats at the open in 1975, another great battle. In retrospect I may should have tried harder to include it as neither player is represented despite great careers. One and two all time in most clay match wins too. Here, despite my knowledge of the match, I know less of it than many other (even contemporaneous matches like Connors-Borg 1976 US F) so I think it suffers slightly owing to that. Another Vilas match that I considered was his famous Rome final in 1979 against Gerulaitis. And then, although i am sorry not to have more information Vilas and young Lendl engaged in a couple five set battles on clay in the early 80s - they might well be worthy inclusions as well.
     
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  3. buscemi

    buscemi Semi-Pro

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    Good thoughts. The only other match that comes to mind is the epic 1996 U.S. Open QF between Sampras and Corretja (Sampras won, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7), after vomiting and saving a match point).
     
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  4. thrust

    thrust Rookie

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    That was, indeed, a great match. Justine may be my all time FAVORITE female player. The Justine-Venus match in the semi's of the USO was probably even higher in quality of play, though there was more drama in the Capriati match.
     
  5. thrust

    thrust Rookie

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    What was especially great about the 72 WCT final, besides the fact that Ken won-LOL, was the high quality of ALL court tennis by two of the greatest players of all time. There were great ground rallies, net play, lobbying, serving and return of serves, over heads, and high drama at the end. It was The match that made tennis really popular in the US, due to the fact that the whole match was seen by millions on TV, by far the biggest tennis audience in the US until that time.
     
  6. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    It was a great match but I'm convinced they played a number of matches that were better like the 1964 Wembley.
     
  7. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    that match definitely belongs on any list of great matches. High quality level of play from both and intense drama at the end. Some of the best net play I have seen from Sampras and it saved him big time that day.
     
  8. captainbryce

    captainbryce Professional

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    I agree those are both really good matches. But since a "top #" list ultimately has a limited number of slots, which two matches would you delete off my in order to incorporate these? That's the challenge? ;)
     
  9. Druss

    Druss Professional

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    I missed that match, thanks guys for bringing it up, I'll look it up on YouTube ...unless you can post it on here?
     
  10. Druss

    Druss Professional

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    A pretty good list, except I question the positioning of certain matches that IMO should be top 10: Agassi-Sampras QF US 01 & Fed-Djoko SF RG 11. Also I feel DelPotro-Djoko SF Wimb 13 should be Top 25 at the least and Fed-Nadal F Wim 07 is definitely top 20. Djoko-Wawrinka AO 13 I assume you accidentally forgot about? Any Djoko-Murray matches should not be on the list, their matches are like watching grass grow.
     
  11. SamSpade

    SamSpade New User

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    Druss - at different times I have had the Sampras-Agassi 2001 duel within the top 10 I believe. Certainly the best of many great matches between them. The other matches you cited were all indeed great and would be within a broader top 100 list - it goes without saying and I believe I cited in my original post that there are no hard and fast rules here, and undoubtedly there would be disagreements arising over various matches. In part my effort reflects a point of view that many great matches have been played outside of the past ten years and without including the present day big 3 - even as good as that era and those players have been. Despite this, the 2000s still feature the most most he's and Nadal and Federer tie with 8 overall. I have a separate top 50 match list for both Nadal and Federer but am withholding that judgment as their careers continue. I have the same lists for Sampras and Agassi however if anyone were interested.
     
  12. metsman

    metsman Legend

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  13. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    @SamSpade
    I would love to see your lists for Sampras and Agassi.
     
  14. Druss

    Druss Professional

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    It amazes me that so many on here do not realise how talented Scud was and rate Fed's Wim '03 as a mug win. I remember back then even his DC teammates Rafter/Hewitt admitted Scud was the more talented one of the Aussies...I knew it too. He is a better version of Berdych without the consistency. Mentally weak and preferred clubbing and womanising with Safin and Moyà instead of training, which resulted in poor conditioning followed by injuries and further loss of motivation. Hopefully Kyrgios will not follow in his footsteps.
     
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  15. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    Scud and Safin were long lost brothers for sure. Both had the talent to be slam winning players. Many slams.
     
  16. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    top 20 with 4 each at the slams and 4 at non-slam matches ..

    AO:

    federer-safin AO 2005 SF
    nadal-verdasco AO 2009 F
    roddick-el ayanoui AO 2003 QF
    safin-agassi AO 2004 SF

    FO:

    courier-bruguera RG 1993 F
    federer-djokovic RG 2011 SF
    federer-delpo RG 2009 SF
    mac-lendl RG 84 F


    Wim:

    fed nadal wim 2007 F
    borg-mcenroe wim 80 F
    rafter-agassi wim 2000 SF
    fed nadal wim 2008 F

    USO:

    mcenroe-connors USO 1984 SF
    sampras-agassi USO 2001 QF
    lendl-wilander USO 88 F
    lendl-cash USO 84 SF


    non-slam matches:

    becker-sampras YEC 96F
    becker-lendl YEC 88 F
    nadal-federer rome 2006 F
    mac-wilander DC 82


    some deserving matches go off the list because of the format chosen above ....
     
  17. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    2nd list :

    AO :

    stan-djokovic AO 13 4R
    sampras-agassi 2000 SF
    laver-roche 69 SF
    fed-nadal AO 09 F

    RG :

    agassi-medevdev RG 99 F
    djokovic-nadal RG 13 SF
    chang-lendl RG 89 4R
    lendl-wilander 82 4R

    Wim :

    borg-gerulaitis wim 77 SF
    federer-roddick wim 09 F
    sampras-goran 95 SF
    becker-edberg 90 F

    USO :

    agassi-blake USO 2005 QF
    sampras corretja USO 96 QF
    federer-djoko USO 11 SF
    orantes-vilas 75 USO SF

    non-slam matches:

    becker-agassi DC 89
    laver-rosewall WCT 72 F
    borg-mac masters 80 F
    coria-nadal Rome 2005 F
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  18. abmk

    abmk Talk Tennis Guru

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    3rd list ...

    AO :

    nadal-djoko 12 F
    djoko-stan AO 14 QF
    sampras-courier AO 95 QF
    edberg-cash 87 F

    RG :

    agassi-courier 91 F
    muster-agassi 94 RG
    kuerten-muster 97 RG
    federer-nadal 07 RG F


    wim :

    rafter-goran 2001 F
    mcenroe-connors 80 SF
    agassi-rafter 2001 SF
    djoko-delpo Wim 13 SF


    USO :

    borg-mcenroe 80 F
    connors-mcenroe 80 SF
    fed-djoko USO 11 SF
    fed-agassi USO 04 QF

    non-slam :

    nadal-djoko madrid 09 SF
    becker-sampras stuttgart 96 F
    becker-mac DC 87
    federer-srichapan basel 06 ( not a match of high importance, but the quality of shotmaking is sensational : )
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
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  19. Legends of Sport

    Legends of Sport New User

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    1991 AO 3rd round - Did anyone mention Boris Becker vs Camporese when they were going serve for serve til 10-10 in the 5th and then both players just started breaking each others serve til Becker held to win 14-12 in the 5th. It was thrilling tennis to watch! It was significant as Becker went on to win his first Australian Open!
     
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  20. mike danny

    mike danny Legend

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    Bolded one: I think I would replace Safin-Agassi with Stan-Nole AO 2013.

    EDIT: I've just seen that you added a second list.
     
  21. buscemi

    buscemi Semi-Pro

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    Philippoussis was an enormous talent, and I still think that he wins Wimbledon in 1999 if he doesn't injure himself while up a set on Sampras in the semifinals. But, by 2003, his skills were diminished and he wasn't in the greatest shape. He did well to get by post-grass peak Agassi in 5 sets in the fourth round and then was kind of lucky with three rain delays in coming back from 2 sets down to beat Popp, 8-6 in the fifth set in the QF. But, even after a straight set win over Grosjean in the semifinals, Mark was still gassed for the final. He did well to keep it as close as he did against Fed in the final, but he didn't have a realistic chance of winning 3 sets in that match.
     
  22. DRII

    DRII Legend

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    Venus Williams was a part of more GOAT matches than any other woman during her prime level of tennis IMO.

    her vs Davenport, Capriati, Hingis, Henin, Seles, Graf and her sister (a few times); were just some epic clashes...
     
  23. metsman

    metsman Legend

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    the final wasn't particularly close by grass court standards but Phillipousis did not play bad. He was serving at 80% for the first part of the match but Federer was reading him like a book.
     

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