Tennis is a beautiful game and has a great history of memorable matches. A great moment does not have to be confined to one point or one match. It can be a story that unfolds during a tournament.
There are a number of spectacular moments in tennis that have defined the careers of the greatest players to ever play the game. Names like Agassi, Sampras, McEnroe, and Borg bring back memories of past glories. The new generation of stars, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Roddick have, in many ways, eclipsed the rivalries of old with their epic battles and new spectacular performances.
DSport has picked top 10 most memorable tennis matches you should know about:
Jimmy Connors vs. Aaron Krickstein (1991 U.S. Open Fourth Round)
That night was one epic night as lots of drama happened on the court! The 1991 US Open featured an astonishing fourth round match between a veteran of the sport, Jimmy Connors, and a 24-year-old newcomer named Aaron Krickstein. After so much of fight, Connors finally came from 5-2 down in the fifth set to win the match. Even non-sports fans can tell you about that day in New York when Connors defied age and the odds to win the most thrilling match ever.
Bjorn Borg vs. John Mcenroe (1980 Wimbledon Final)
The epic battle from the 1980 Wimbledon Final between John McEnroe and four-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg was long considered the greatest tennis match in history. While there were nail-biting moments in every set, the fourth-set tiebreaker was a match within itself; a 34-point affair where Borg saved six set points and McEnroe saved five match points. At 16-16, Borg hit a forehand return just wide and McEnroe was able to win on his seventh set point. He took Borg to the limit in the fifth, but couldn’t hold on and snap Borg’s four-Wimbledon winning streak. This match shook the world and put both men in another stratosphere of celebrity.
Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (2008 Wimbledon Final)
The drama was intense and the match was really close. In this epic battle, Federer and Nadal played one of the greatest games that the sport will ever see. After 4 hours and 48 minutes, Nadal dethroned Federer (6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7). It is widely regarded as the greatest match in the history of tennis. Display of beautiful talent, and impressive mutual respect, this match often rated the top match ever.
Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick (2009 Wimbledon Final)
One of the greatest serving displays by one of the best servers in the game. This was the day when Andy Roddick’s serve was broken just the once, in the 77th game of a 77-game Wimbledon men’s final. That one break of Roddick’s delivery, after more than four and a quarter hours of play on Centre Court, was all that Roger Federer needed to take the fifth set 16-14, to become the first man to win 15 grand slams, and to regain the world No 1 ranking.
Pete Sampras vs. Andre Agassi (2001, U.S. Open Quarterfinal)
Sampras won 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5), but on this particular night both Sampras and Agassi had shown why they have been such supreme champions, with 20 Grand Slam titles between them. It was hardcourt tennis at its most intense.
Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012 Australian Open Final)
The modern-day rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has given us a number of memorable classic matches, but none was as magical as the battle between the two at the 2012 Australian Open final. Djokovic won the battle of endurance to beat Rafael Nadal in near six-hour epic match. It was certainly the longest, surely the hardest and arguably the greatest Grand Slam final in history.
Michael Chang vs Ivan Lendl (1989 French Open Fourth Round)
Michael Chang jolted the tennis world with a miracle French Open victory that sparked one of the most unlikely Grand Slam title runs in history. Chang’s stunning fourth-round, five-set win over top-ranked Ivan Lendl became his defining moment and helped changed the culture of American men’s tennis.
Andre Agassi vs Marcos Baghdatis (2006 U.S. Open Second Round)
The match turned into one of the most dramatic turns of events on the center court. Agassi kept his final tournament going by beating eighth-seeded Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5 at the U.S. Open. Agassi fought off three break points at 5-5, then broke Baghdatis in the next game to close his final professional triumph.
Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer (2011 U.S. Open Semifinal)
In this semi-final, Djokovic was apparently done for at two sets to love down against Roger Federer. The same Roger Federer who has only conceded such a lead once before in all his long history of grand slam tennis. But Djokovic came back, levelling the match at two sets apiece. And then he did it again, staving off two match points on Federer’s serve to win the deciding set 7-5. In the end, it was Djokovic, serving out to claim the match in three hours and 51 minutes.
McEnroe vs. Ivan Lendl (1984 French Open final)
The No. 1 player in the world against his closest and most bitter rival during the best year of his career. In the French Open final of ’84, it was McEnroe’s character trait of self-destruction that cost him his winning streak against Ivan Lendl, a man who had never won a major tournament. He was quicker, cleverer and slicker than Lendl, taking a 2-0 lead 6-3 6-2 in just over an hour. This match had a huge impact on the careers of both men.