What is the greatest match for each of the following players in terms of peak level?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Nadalgaenger, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Nadalgaenger

    Nadalgaenger Hall of Fame

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    Federer
    Sampras
    Nadal
    Borg
    Djokovic

    Here are my picks:
    Federer: (So many to choose from really) Probably USO 2004 final, Rome 2006 final vs. Nadal that he actually lost or even Wimbledon 2015 v. Murray!
    Sampras: Wimbledon 1999 final vs. Agassi
    Nadal: 2008 FO final vs. Fed or 2010 USO final vs. Nole
    Borg: ??? I find it hard to find razzle-dazzle highlights of Borg anywhere. Overrated?
    Djokovic: 2011 Wimbledon final vs. Nadal (2nd set was the highest level of tennis ever perhaps from him).
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
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  2. FedFosterWallace

    FedFosterWallace Legend

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    Are we doing sustained level over the course of a whole match? Reason I ask is because for Djok, the first two sets against Fed in the semi at this past AO were just devastating. I mean, that was some kind of brutal assault. Fed did right the ship in the third, and pushing it to a 5th was not out of the question, so whole match is out. But the first half of that match... yikes.
     
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  3. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    For Borg there's a lot of choices. You can pick the 1978 Wimbledon final where Connors played at top level but won only seven games, the same for the 1979 Wimbledon semifinal.

    He beat Vilas in the final of the 1978 French losing only five games. He defeated Nastase in straight sets at Wimbledon in 1976. He easily beat McEnroe on hard court in the final of the 1979 Canadian Open. I also liked his play in the final of the 1979 Pepsi.
     
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  4. The Green Mile

    The Green Mile Talk Tennis Guru

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    What a strange comment, lol. You think he is overrated because you don't know what his best matches are?
     
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  5. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    People just didn't bother uploading highlights of his matches to YouTube in his day because they knew he was overrated.

    For Federer on grass the best choice is the Wimbledon 2093 SF.
     
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  6. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    You know that Borg. All hype, no substance. Lol.
     
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  7. Zodd

    Zodd Hall of Fame

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    That was some inspired play by Borg. Just got me a sudden itch to play with wooden racquets. Just listen to that tension in borgs racquet :)
     
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  8. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    agreed...peak 111 year old junkballerer will be the obvious answer.
     
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  9. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    why all the confusion over Borg? 78 RG final? 78-79 Wimby matches against Connors? Volvo 1980 (well actually 1981) against Lendl. Plenty of good choices.
     
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  10. FedFosterWallace

    FedFosterWallace Legend

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    That split screen on the service was nice. Why don't broadcasters do that anymore?
     
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  11. Fiero425

    Fiero425 Hall of Fame

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    Bud Collins called it "a pane of glass!" I used tight tensions for a couple years, but those wooden frames collapsed within weeks if not days! ;-)
     
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  12. Nadalgaenger

    Nadalgaenger Hall of Fame

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    I am sure many people here will attack me for the idea that Borg is overrated. The results speak for themselves. He was undoubtedly an unbelievable innovator and helped create the modern baseline game.

    His results are simply awesome against the field. He dominated tennis in a way that only 2-3 plays have.

    BUT, when I watch his highlights, I don't observe the same pizzazz that I see even from Laver or McEnroe. This could have a lot to do with Borg's grinding style. He simply does not hit many winners from the back of the court the way modern pros do.
    Also, even on the highlight video above, which is supposedly his peak level ever (according to the TT experts), he does not overwhelm me.

    Compare that hitting to this from Djokovic and Nadal:

     
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  13. Nadalgaenger

    Nadalgaenger Hall of Fame

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    Watch the point beginning on 4:57. One of Djokovic's greatest ever. I don't know if I have ever seen a level that high. He was completely dominating prime Rafa at that point in the match.
     
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  14. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    You have to remember that was with old wooden racquets. Borg was known for having by far the best forehand in tennis at his best. Compare the forehand swings and racquet speed of Borg and Federer and you'll find it quite similar which means to me that Borg could have as powerful a forehand as Federer, perhaps superior, maybe a little less but clearly it would be imo one of the best today. With the better racquet tech, strings and bigger racquets Borg would probably hit with far more power and even greater spin. Don't forget that I believe Borg could serve at about 130 mph with wood. This is pretty good even today. And his backhand was a great weapon also. Borg was very adaptable.

     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2016
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  15. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    For Sampras:
    2001 US Open QF against Agassi. Sampras won 6–7(7), 7–6(2), 7–6(2), 7–6(5)
     
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  16. Noleberic123

    Noleberic123 G.O.A.T.

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    For an entire match? Djokovics AO 11 semi against Federer would probably take the cake. His absolute best that I have seen him play? This years AO semi

    Federer? USO 04 and yeah even Wimbledon 2015!

    Nadal? I Guess the obvious one is RG 08

    As for Sampras and Borg I'm too young for them. I will let other people talk about them
     
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  17. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    I just did some analysis of individual matches using my Estimated Dynamic NTRP Ratings that calculate individual match ratings, and the highest match rating calculated was for Nadal's 2008 French Open win over Federer. Nadal has a few other very high rated matches also at the French Open and then Federer's 2004 US Open Final over Hewitt is next.

    It is interesting that all of Nadal's top rated matches are at the French Open, while Federer has three different events in his top-5 rated matches.

    Novak? He has some very good matches too, his 2011 Aussie Open Final over Murray leading the way, but just a tick back.

    Borg and Sampras have also had high rated matches, Borg at the 1978 French and Sampras at the 1997 Aussie. But interestingly Jim Courier and Ivan Lendl have higher rated matches. Courier's 1992 French had two great results in the semi and final and Lendl's 1986 US Open final was right behind those.

    See my full post here: http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/03/what-are-some-of-highest-rated-atp.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
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  18. kevinbig3

    kevinbig3 New User

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    Nadal:2009 AO SF vs Verdasco
    2008wimbledon F vs Fed
    2008FO F vs Fed
    2012 FO SF vs Ferrer
    2010 USO F vs Djo
    2013 USO QF vs Robredo
     
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  19. Krish872007

    Krish872007 G.O.A.T.

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    For Nadal: probably the 2008 RG QF
     
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  20. NatF

    NatF Talk Tennis Guru

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    How many matches have you rated in this way?
     
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  21. The Green Mile

    The Green Mile Talk Tennis Guru

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    Interesting way of rating matches. But it leaves out one of the most important factors. How well they both play! Or should I say, the system is a bit flawed. :) Unless I'm just really stupid and can't read properly.
     
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  22. MichaelNadal

    MichaelNadal Bionic Poster

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    This isn't in the OP but I have to say...



    I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen Nadal play better than this and lose. Davy is amazing here.
     
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  23. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    How did Edberg's crush of Courier in the US Open final rank and Borg's crush of Connors in the 1978 Wimbledon final?
     
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  24. Purplemonster

    Purplemonster Professional

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    Definitely a great match but that is by no means peak Sampras. Would have to go with his 1999 Wimbledon victory v Agassi.
     
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  25. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    All ATP matches since 1968.
     
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  26. malbaker86

    malbaker86 Professional

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    I prefer Nadal 2010 French Open vs Soderling as oppose to 2008 final. Why? Fed stunk up the joint that day. Yes, Nadal was in rare form, but Fed really did help the onslaught by carrying a defeatist attitude the whole match.

    Against Soderling in 2010, Nadal had to deal with trying to get payback against the person who defeated him at the FO the year before and trying to win his first major since the AO 2009. He played brilliantly that day. Soderling played solid himself, but there was nothing he could do to break through that day.
     
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  27. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    Oh, you are absolutely right. What I did is by no means perfect or the conclusive answer to what a player's best match was. But it is one way to look at it. The highest rated matches are usually blowout or easy wins over high rated opponents. That can be the result of the winner playing exceptionally well, but sometimes are the result of the loser having a really bad match. Those matches where the loser plays very well and keeps the score close may not rate as high.
     
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  28. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    Edberg's win over Courier rated 7.45, and #12 on the all-time list and Edberg's best.

    Borg's Wimbledon win over Connors was 7.34, so very good mind you, but only #8 on Borg's list.
     
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  29. pc1

    pc1 G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting.
    I would agree with you.
     
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  30. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    Perhaps oddly, this match rated only 7.20. The reason is that Andre's run up to that match was not that dominating so his rating going into the match was not that high. For example, he beat Guillermo Canas only 6-3,6-4,6-3, lost a set to Alberto Martin, and lost a set to Wayne Arthurs. So Agassi likely played "above his rating" in the final and it took a great match by Pete to win, but the way the system works, the close match doesn't rate as high.

    This is another reason why this approach isn't perfect, a high rated match requires that the opponent have strung together some very good matches leading up to the match in question. But when someone does this, sometimes they run out of gas and do poorly in that match so the winner gets the benefit of a high rated opponent and a lopsided score. The 2008 French Open was sort of an example of this, but how much of the score in the final was due to Nadal's great play and how much was due to Federer not playing his best?
     
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  31. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    A few more since there have been some questions.

    Petr Korda - 7.46 - 1998 Australian Open Final - 6-2,6-2,6-2 over Rios
    Sergi Bruguera - 7.46 - 1993 French Open SF - 6-0,6-4,6-2 over Medvedev
    Andre Agassi - 7.45 - 1994 US Open Final - 6-1,7-6,7-5 over Stich
    Guillermo Vilas - 7.45 - 1977 French Open Final - 6-0,6-3,6-0 over Gottfried
    Thomas Muster - 7.44 - 1995 French Open Final - 7-5,6-2,6-4 over Chang
    Yevgeny Kafelnikov - 7.43 - 1996 French Open SF - 7-6,6-0,6-2 over Sampras
    John McEnroe - 7.41 - 1984 Wimbledon Final - 6-1,6-1,6-2 over Connors

    Another interesting one is Del Potro. Four of his best 7 matches were at the 2009 US Open, his best result by far the semi-final win over Nadal 6-2,6-2,6-2 which rated 7.39.
     
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  32. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    I guess you have a time machine and fortune telling powers. Amazing longevity by Federer, playing some of his best ever tennis at age 112. o_O
     
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  33. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    For Federer I will do by surface:

    Hard courts- 2004 U.S Open final. I considered choosing a different match only due to the one and only small letdown in his play in the match from 5-3 up in the 2nd set to 6-6, a 4 game stretch. Another decent choice would be the 2007 Australian Open, not just one match but the whole tournament in general.

    Grass- 2003 Wimbledon semis.

    Clay- 2006 Hamburg final. Yes a loss, Fed's best ever performance on clay was a loss which just shows again Nadal is the clay GOAT. A very close 2nd would be the 2011 RG semis though.

    Indoors- 2007 WTF semis vs Nadal.


    Nadal by surface:

    Hard courts- 2010 U.S Open. Basically the whole tournament, not one specific match. His final performance vs Djokovic was quite excellent though, Djokovic actually played much better overall than the 2013 final IMO.

    Grass- 2007 Wimbledon final. Once again I am picking a loss. His hitting was insane that day, he was flat out badly overpowering a very in form Federer off the ground. It took stupendous serving and greater clutchness on the big points than Nadal that day (how rare is that) for Federer to somehow scrape out the win.

    Clay- 2008 Roland Garros. Again, not just one match, the whole tournament really.

    Indoors- Dubai final vs Federer 2006.


    Djokovic by surface:

    Hard courts- 2008 Australian Open semis vs Federer or 2011 Miami final vs Nadal. Considering the stage of his career he was at, the 2008 Australian Open semi performance was amazing, outhitting and being the aggressor against Federer. The 2011 Miami final was the best quality match ever between Nadal and Djokovic, far superior play by both men to their famed 2012 Australian Open encounter IMO.

    Indoors- 2014 Beijing final vs Berdych. This was his best match anywhere period probably.

    Grass- Wimbledon final 2015 vs Federer.

    Clay- 2011 Rome final vs Nadal.
     
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  34. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    This is slightly changing the subject of this thread, but is related so I'll post it.

    We've been discussing and I analyzed the highest rated individual matches. But I can also look at the highest short stretches of dominance by looking not at the highest match ratings but highest dynamic ratings as that calculation looks at the most recent matches and effectively calculates an average. To have a high dynamic rating takes more than a solitary great match, but a sequence of them.

    So for your reading pleasure, see http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/03/what-are-some-of-highest-rated-players.html

    Jim Courier leads this list at 7.40 with a health group of five a gap back at 7.34 that includes Borg, Nadal, and Sampras. Interestingly many of these top ratings occurred at or just after the French Open and occurred pre-2000 when the difference in surfaces was more apparent. Surprisingly, Federer and Djokovic are a ways back.

    Courier also leads in having his dynamic rating at or over 7.20 the most times with Sampras close behind.
     
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  35. Checkmate

    Checkmate Professional

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    Djokovic 2016 AO SF's performance couldn't be bettered.Even in the third set,it was incredibly high level but somehow Federer out of nowhere was able to match it.
     
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  36. mattosgrant

    mattosgrant Banned

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    Actually you are right. I think that would be a good pick. Federer played excellent in that one, and IMO would have beaten anyone else in the draw. Djokovic was inpenetrable and flawlessly consistent from the baseline.
     
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  37. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    that racquet technology did not enable to Borg to go for power and spin like modern pros can. Instead he went for spin. Nadal playing in his day would have looked just like Borg did. However, if you want to see him hit some winners on a quicker surface watch his match vs Lendl at the YEC. With modern technology, Borg would have been a beast. Regardless, you can still see his genius with those passing shots and movement. Simply cannot compare hitting 40 years apart...way too big of a difference in racquet tech. The style of Borg was able to play with wooden racquets is downright amazing....he was a pioneer. Vilas tried to play the same way but could not get the consistency/heaviness of shot that Borg could which is why Borg always owned him. He was truly an innovator.
     
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  38. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    Federer was garbage in the first two sets. He definitely would not have beaten anyone in the draw with that form and if he would have it's more a reflection on the state of the tour.
     
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  39. Krish872007

    Krish872007 G.O.A.T.

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    Roland Garros 2008 Quarter Final vs Almagro was arguably the best CC tennis I've seen from Nadal (and therefore from anyone)
     
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  40. Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil

    Doctor/Lawyer Red Devil G.O.A.T.

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    I believe Almagro was so pissed during that match and said something like "He is gonna be 40 and still winning Roland Garros".
     
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  41. Krish872007

    Krish872007 G.O.A.T.

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    Yep lol - not much else you can say when you get triple-breadsticked.
     
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  42. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    #42
  43. I am the Greatest!

    I am the Greatest! Semi-Pro

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    Federer has too many it's just insane. I would like to point out 3:
    2004 US Open Finals
    2009 Australian Open Quarter-Finals
    2011 World Tour Finals vs. Nadal

    Sampras
    Too obvious. 1999 Wimbledon Finals

    Nadal
    2008 French Open Finals.
    Regardless if Federer played crap, a win is a win.

    Borg
    I forgot that year. I think that was against Vilas.

    Djokovic
    2014 Wimbledon Finals.
    He even said that it was the best that he had ever played.

    Where's Johnny Mac? That thrashing of Connors was brutal. When Johnny Mac is clicking, his peak is one of the highest, ever. No ball can ever bounce on his court. Hell, it won't even cross the net.
     
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  44. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    last three rounds of that tournament were just abusive from Nadal. I was just laughing every other point at how good he was and usually only peak Fed or Sampras on grass make me do that. Besides that third set against Djoker where he blew a double break with some silly UFE it was just ridiculous. Don't think anyone besides Fed or Borg have had 3 late round slam matches in a row that were that good.
     
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  45. schmke

    schmke Hall of Fame

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    Courier in 1992 in the French is similar if not exceeding it as it was a 5 match streak.

    R64 - 6-1,6-4,6-4 over Muster
    R16 - 6-1,6-4,6-2 over Medvedev
    QF - 6-2,6-1,2-6,7-5 over Ivanisevic
    SF - 6-3,6-2,6-2 over Agassi
    F - 7-5,6-2,6-1 over Korda

    The last 2 being two of the highest rated matches ever (by my ratings, http://computerratings.blogspot.com/2016/03/what-are-some-of-highest-rated-atp.html)
     
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  46. Diehard

    Diehard Professional

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    Biggest win over Nadal that was for Djokovic.
     
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  47. metsman

    metsman G.O.A.T.

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    did lose a set to Ivanisevic on clay. Regardless, Courier's 92 FO run was incredible.
     
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  48. Jezza94

    Jezza94 Rookie

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    Federer v Roddick - Australian Open Semi Final 2007.



    Nadal's French Open Final performance in 2008 was phenomenal.
     
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  49. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    Sampras US Open 1995 final might have been his best form.

    The 1997 Australian Open form was devastating as well. He played Carlos Moya in the finals.
     
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  50. InsideOut900

    InsideOut900 Professional

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    Why isn't anybody on this thread talking about the AO2013 semi?That was arguably a better level than the first 2 sets against Fed this year. And he sustained that level over the course of the entire match.The last set,buhh,scary.
     
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