Federer vs. Nadal: Wimbledon 2008
Most people agree that Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal is the most intense rivalry in tennis over the past two decades. Both are incredibly talented players, and each has obvious preferences in terms of court surfaces. They always challenged each other whenever they met in any tournament.
In 39 matches they have played against each other to date, Nadal has emerged victorious on 23 occasions. They have met 12 times in Grand Slam tournaments, and here too Nadal has a nine-wins lead (six of which are in the nine finals where they met).
The 2008 Wimbledon Final is arguably the greatest match between Federer and Nadal. In an exhilarating five-set match lasting four hours and 48 minutes, the Spaniard defeated five-time tournament champion Federer, with both players showing great performance.
Serena Williams: 23rd Grand Slam Victory
There are very few players who dominate the sport in the same way as Serena Williams is in women’s tennis. Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt and Floyd Mayweather have achieved great success, each in their own discipline, and on January 28, 2017, Serena Williams also entered this glorious cohort, inscribing her name in the history books of tennis.
In 2017, as part of the Australian Open, she beat her sister Venus with a score of 6–4, 6–4 and became the winner of the Grand Slam tournaments for the 23rd time, breaking Steffi Graf’s record for the number of major tennis trophies won for throughout the Australian Open.
It is hard to imagine that anyone will surpass this record in both men’s and women’s tennis in the near future. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seem to be the only contenders with realistic odds here, with 20 and 17 trophies respectively.
Retirement from big sport Andre Agassi
There are very few names to mention in a discussion about the greatest tennis player of all time, but Andre Agassi is definitely one of them. In his illustrious career spanning over twenty years, Agassi has won each of the Grand Slam tournaments at least once and won 76.05% of his 1,144 professional matches.
In addition to his success on the court, Agassi’s playing style and the associated huge excitement among tennis fans around the world, who were his fans, have earned him the role of tennis player, playing a major role in the popularity of the sport for many years. Unsurprisingly, the American’s last match in 2006 was so emotional.
Söderling vs. Nadal: 2009 French Open
While everyone loves to watch the best of the best compete for the biggest prizes in the sport, there is something special about the unexpected results of the strongest players. When Robin Söderling faced Rafael Nadal at the 2009 French Open, almost no one gave the Swede a great chance (including BC Pinnacle, where he was rated at 36.00, which is only 2.75% true).
Nadal, who had planned to become the French Open champion for a record fifth consecutive time and not lost in a single set since the 2007 finals, was defeated in a single match by Roland Garros, losing to Robin Söderling in the fourth round. Against all odds, Söderling beat Nadal 6–2, 6–7, 6–4, 7–6.
Isner vs. Mahut: Wimbledon 2010
Tennis is renowned for being a demanding sport in terms of physical fitness for athletes. Playing at intense speed and unable to “hide” from an opponent on court, elite players must work on their endurance as well as their technique in order to compete at the highest level.
The difference between men’s and women’s play in Grand Slam tournaments (five sets versus three sets) means that the average match duration is slightly longer (2.5-3.5 hours for men versus 1.5-3 hours for women). However, the match between John Isner and Nicholas Mahut at Wimbledon 2010 was something completely unusual in this sense.
The match was played over three days, and on June 24, Isner won the 138th game of the fifth set to eventually win the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6 (70-68). After 183 full games and 11 hours and five minutes of play, Isner vs. Mahut is by far the longest match in tennis history (only one fifth set would surpass the previous record).
Djokovic vs. Nadal: 2013 US Open Final
The level of play of tennis players in a professional tennis tournament means that any player is, in principle, capable of serving world class to the opponent’s side. While an involuntary mistake can often put an end to the game, tennis players and fans themselves will find more satisfaction in a serve that the opponent cannot accept.
When Rafael Nadal faced Novak Djokovic in the 2013 US Open final, the two players were on the same level: the fact that they each had more than twice as many ATP rating points as any other tennis player proved how they dominated. Nadal emerged victorious in this exciting match.
Justine Henin vs. Venus Williams: US Open 2007
Women’s matches may be shorter at Grand Slam tournaments, but the level of tennis there still matches men’s matches. When Justine Henin faced Venus Williams in the 2007 US Open semi-finals, they played one of the greatest matches at Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Henin managed to beat Venus Williams in successive sets, days after doing the same to the American sister, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The Belgian has been incredible at times in her quest for victory, and while Williams has struggled to prove herself, it is Henin’s magnificent one-handed swing that comes before her eyes again and again.
Dustin Brown and his decisive blow: Bergamo Challenger -2016
Although Dustin Brown will not go down in history as one of the finest tennis players to grace the court, he is certainly one of the most extraordinary tennis players ever.
The long hair of the Jamaican German with dreadlocks is as recognizable as his showmanship on the court, and although picking one great shot from his extensive list of those is difficult enough, we still highlight Brown’s winning shot at Bergamo Challenger in Italy in 2016.
Andy Murray won Wimbledon 2013
The first title of every tennis player who won the Grand Slam tournaments will always live long in their memory, but Andy Murray’s second title may still be the most memorable for him. After winning the 2012 US Open, Murray topped the rankings for the 2013 season, instilling confidence in the hearts of his fans in the UK that he could win men’s Wimbledon for the first time in 77 years, leaving the trophy home.
Murray, the 26-year-old, has been impressive throughout the tournament and despite a rather tough quarterfinals against Fernando Verdasco, his triumph has never been in doubt. He outplayed Novak Djokovic in consecutive sets (6-4, 7-5, 6-4) in the final to lift the trophy over his head a year after his emotional performance after being eliminated from the Wimbledon net.
Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova: Australian Open-2011
Tennis is a wonderful balance between grace, strength, agility and speed, but the mental and physical stamina required is sometimes overlooked. If there ever was a game that epitomized what a tennis match could celebrate, it is Francesca Schiavone’s match against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round of the 2011 Australian Open.
Four hours and 44 minutes Schiavone versus Kuznetsova is the second longest women’s tennis match in history (and the longest in a Grand Slam tournament). Some might argue that this is some kind of repetition of Isner vs. Mahut, but Schiavone vs. Kuznetsova is a classic in its own genre, not least because the Italian has converted six match points before ultimately surpassing her opponent 6 -4, 1-6, 16-14.