Top 5 ATP Tennis Moments of Recent Times
Over the years the ATP World Tour has provided us with countless memorable matches. These include moments of brilliance, huge winning streaks and freak results. With so many great players and legends of the game the choice is endless. In this article we look at the top 5 ATP tennis moments of the past decade.
Federer vs Nadal 2008 Wimbledon Final
Without a doubt the 2008 Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was the top tennis match in recent times. The players were playing for 4 hours and 48 minutes but the match was spread across the full day due to weather conditions. This only added to the drama. At the time, Federer was dominant on the grass courts and Nadal was yet to win a Wimbledon title. Federer went into the match as favourite. The crowd was instantly stunned when out of nowhere Nadal raced to a two set lead and well on course for his first Wimbledon title. The next two sets were tight and Federer was able to level the match over two tie breaks. Due to constant rain delays the players were forced on and off the court and by the time the final set was in play the light was failing. Both players were now in form with Federer not wanting to lose his grass court dominance and Nadal wanting to achieve his childhood dream and with no tie break in the final set at 6/6 we were into sudden death. It was Nadal who was eventually victorious and by the time Championship point was won you could see the flashes being used by the crowds due to the bad light. Final score 6–4, 6–4, 6–7, 6–7, 9–7. This was the longest final in Wimbledon history and with all the drama, the two great champions and its stop and a start nature it has to be the number one tennis moment of recent times.
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray 2013 Wimbledon Final
12 month previously Andy Murray had come so close to his dream of lifting the Wimbledon title when he made the final and faced Roger Federer. Murray took the opening set and for a set and a half the fans were thinking just maybe. But it wasn’t to be and the Swiss Maestro stepped it up a gear showing us all why he is thought of by so many as the best player of all time. A year later Murray found himself back in the Wimbledon final and this time he faced Novak Djokovic. Everything felt a little different this year. In the twelve month run up to the match Murray won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and Olympic Gold in London. Was he ready for the final test? He certainly was and although British fans were biting their nails for the duration of the match he won the title in straight sets.
Sampras vs Federer 2001 Wimbledon 4th Round
Sampras vs Federer 2001 has been selected because of its significance in the tennis world. Up until his retirement Pete Sampras was the dominant force in the men’s game and was unstoppable on the grass courts of Wimbledon. Sampras won the Wimbledon crown 7 times and back then no one thought that this kind of record would ever be broken. The two met in the 4th round and Federer moved a set ahead twice before being pegged back by the legend of the game. But a youthful Federer always believed he could take the match and won the deciding set. Final score 7-6 5-7 6-4 6-7 7-5. Roger Federer has since beaten the majority of the records set by Sampras and it all started at this match. This was the changing of the guard!
Federer vs Nadal 2007 Hamburg
This is a match that not many would think of for their top 5 tennis moments but hold great significance. Federer and Nadal contested the Hamburg final and going into the match the Spaniard was an unstoppable force on the clay on a winning streak of 81 consecutive matches. It was this winning streak that has earned Nadal the title “King of Clay”. He and Federer met in clay court finals time and time again but Rafa always found a way to win. But not this time. Nadal took the opening set as expected by a score line of 6/2. From this point on something got into Federer and he blew the King off the court. He took the second set 6/2 and then demolished Nadal 6/0 in the decider. It was this match that ended one of the greatest winning streaks in tennis.
Isner vs Mahut 2010 Wimbledon First Round
The Isner vs Mahut match has to appear in any top tennis moments list. It may not have produced the best tennis the world has ever seen but the freak result was something never seen before in the sport’s history and attracted media attention all over the world. This was the longest tennis match ever played lasting a huge 8 hours 11 minutes. The match started on Tuesday 22nd June at 18:13 and at 21:07 play was stopped due to poor lighting. The match was back on court the following day at 14:05 and was again halted at 21:09. Play resumed on Thursday 24th June at 15:40 and was eventually won by John Isner at 16:47 by a score line of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68. Crowds built around the court to see this spectacle and the players had their photos taking next to the scoreboard at the end of the match. Needless to say the match took it out of Isner and he was beaten comfortable in straight sets in the following round.
Everyone’s top 5 tennis matches is different and with the sport providing so many memorable moments the question generates a lot of debate. But everyone will agree that the level of the sport has never been better and we can expect many more great matches over the coming years.
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Lee is one of the head writers for World Tennis Trading and a tennis fanatic. When he’s not glued to the telly watching the ATP tour he is reading news and statistics. Lee earns a living from the sport he loves.