Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time

decorulez97

The Top Ten

1 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008 Wimbeldon Final)

I cannot believe that it has been 10 years since this unforgettable match took place. The memories of this match still feel so recent and raw. Roger Federer at this point had won 5 Wimbledons on the trot. Rafael Nadal, two Wimbledon finals in a row but no reward. Federer was simply too good on grass.

8-year-old me was expecting another one-sided affair. Everyone around me was rooting for the overwhelming favourite, Federer. I for some reason decided to root for the underdog, Nadal. Perhaps to see a new winner of the highly prestigious Wimbledon crown.

Halfway into the match, I thought that Nadal finally broke his duck. Federer, to everyone's surprise, found himself two sets to love down. Nadal was playing the best grass court tennis of his life.

But once again, Federer found some of that grass court magic he carries with himself and mounted a charge. Two thrilling tiebreakers, two sets to Federer, game on.

The sky started to darken as the final set began. ...more

I would argue the best sporting encounter of all time, not just best tennis match. Two human beings totally in flow, in the moment for hours on end producing impossible magical shots, I have goose bumps remembering it. I phoned everyone I knew to watch it, including non tennis fans, all totally gripped.

The absolute best match in tennis history!

That day I realized that I was a federer fan, when he won the 4th set tiebreak I started to cry haha.
The emotions that I lived that day... Unforgettable.
Thank you Roger, Thank you Rafa.

V 33 Comments
2 Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012 Australian Open Final)

Aliens playing tennis, extraterrestrial experience.

The most warriorsome match of all time!

"What an unbelievable match! Best match I've seen in my lifetime for sure." -Boris Becker
"By far the greatest match I ever saw. Incredible performances from both guys." -Pete Sampras
"I think this was the best tennis match ever in the men's game." -Andre Agassi
"Wow what an unbelievable match to watch. Definitely the greatest match I've seen." -Mats Wilander
"It showed what it takes to beat this top group of players. Truly fantastic match to watch. One of the greatest I've ever seen." -Björn Borg

You can win Wimbledon with JUST a big serve because it is harder to get to the ball. With hardcourts, not so easy. This is the greatest match. Novak is the greatest player because every time he steps on a court he has to battle Nadal AND the crowd. That is why it is twice as tough for Novak.

V 26 Comments
3 Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic (2013 Roland Garros Semifinal)

What a match! Thriller

Gg match ( ya know what I'm saying

Great

The best match tennis of the world

V 13 Comments
4 Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick (2009 Wimbledon Final)

The only time Roddick was broken was when he was serving to stay in the match at 14-15. Even Federer Fans know their hearts were down for Andy Roddick as a Wimbledon champion.

As a Roddick fan, both my favorite and least-favorite match. He deserved to win it as much as Roger did. His effort was superhuman against his lifelong bogeyman.

Last set was amazing, definitely in top 3 matches of all times.

So tight and entertaining match, it's a shame that it isn't in the top 3.

V 4 Comments
5 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (Australian Open 2017 Final)

Nice like a corn pipe machine

For most tennis fans, this was the dream final. The two biggest rivals in the history of the sport playing in yet another Grand Slam final after everyone had written them off. The match itself was far better than anyone had expected. It was a scintillating display of exciting baseline rallies, pin-point net play and masterful serving. It was also brimming with drama, especially in the fifth set, where there were plenty of break-point opportunities, close games and momentum shifts. You couldn't pick a winner until that final Hawk-Eye challenge that had everyone on the edge of their seats. Perhaps not the most elegant way to end it, but certainly a fitting conclusion to what was one of the most suspenseful matches in Grand Slam history. Most people will tell you that their final at Wimby '08 was the greatest match of all time. However, the hype, the story, the drama and the overall quality makes this match my pick.

Down a break in the 5th Federer played some of his best tennis to win against long term rival in one of the most important grand slam finals in history to determine the greatest of all time!

greatest

V 22 Comments
6 Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic (2014 Wimbledon Final)

Some of the cleanest ball striking I've ever seen. Roger can't break Novak for 3 sets, then, down 5-2 in the fourth, gets consecutive breaks to save the match. True grit. Roger playing so well at 33 against a 27 year old opponent of Novak's caliber simply cements his legacy as the best ever.

The fact that Roger was still able to put up that kind of fight at that age just goes to show his true greatness. Credit to Novak because he raised his game to match and even surpass Nadal and Federer at this point in their careers.

A true clash of titans

Rivals the 2008 final

V 2 Comments
7 John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut (2010 Wimbledon 1st Round)

11 hours and five minutes of back and fourth action. Greatest tennis match of all-time. - DrummerBoyJack

I felt like I was watching a fight amongst gladiators in this match, that to give up would be to hand over your life. The gutsiest of performances in any sport that I have ever witnessed.

Important match but boring baseline play where neither could EVER break

8 Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe (1980 Wimbledon Final)

This game is epic and will be stamped in history for ever to be the greatest game ever!

This is to los rated! This is the on of all time.

Vicious tennis playing!

Agree that this being number 10 is a joke but the reality is most people voting are young and have never seen a wooden racket :-) - This match was for me the classis duel of all time.

V 14 Comments
9 Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2013 US Open Final)

The way rafa come up in 3 rd set 4-4 (0-40) was truly amazing...

Rafa is the best

It was a beautiful match, not too long, but with intensity and very technical rallies.. Certainly, the way Rafa come up in 3 rd set 4-4 (0-40) was truly amazing

10 Ivan Lendl vs. John McEnroe (1984 French Open)

Perhaps an overlooked classic. McEnroe was at the height of his powers in June 1984 albeit playing on a surface he was not wild about. These 2 guys, who basically loathed one another, had a see sawing career rivalry which at this juncture had McEnroe in the ascendancy. McEnroe played flawless tennis for 2 sets. The weather was warm and McEnroe was in command. Somehow in the middle of the 3rd set, with McEnroe cruising towards an emphatic straight sets victory, Lendl began to claw his way back into the match. His superior fitness in the energy sapping conditions started to come into play. A momentum player at best McEnroe fell apart in the final set despite going down only 5-7 in the clinch. The crowd got behind Lendl (as merely an underdog since he was never a natural crowd favourite) and McEnroe began to disintegrate. This was a heartbreaking loss for McEnroe as he knew that he would never again have such a gilt edged opportunity to win at Roland Garros. He never reached another ...more

Mac STILL loses sleep over this one. amazing match

The Contenders

11 Murray vs. Djokovic (2012 U.S. Open Final)

For the amazing tension and sheer quality of the first set this has to be in the top 10 matches ever. Awesome match

The match is special because this is Murray's first grand slam title!

Simply Awesome

12 Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi (2001 US Open)

Only Grand Slam match I recall going 4 straight sets with neither player ever breaking serve. Combine that with two contrasting styles of play (serve & volley vs power baseline, one handed backhand vs two handed backhand, etc), and contrasting personalities and you end up with an incredibly entertaining match of "who's gonna flinch first".

13 Roger Federer vs Marat Safin (2005 Australian Open)

Greatest match of all time hands down

Cannot be 13th as it was one of the best non-final matches I've ever seen!

Underrated match for sure. Safin defeated Roger Federer in his prime, which might be the biggest accomplishment you can do in tennis.

In my top 3. Safin played out of his skin and the brilliance of the tennis was sustained throughout. Good to see the match on this list

V 7 Comments
14 Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1981 Wimbeldon Final)

You mean 1980 final

McEnroe just did not give up

15 David Nalbandian vs Roger Federer (2005 ATP World Tour Finals)

Best match ever.

16 Chris Evert vs. Martina Navratilova (1985 French Open Final)

What a jerk to leave a comment like that. Your Chrissie would find your comments a disgrace. Martina is a brave and true legend and everyone knows that at her best, Martina was just a little bit better than Evert and even Chris Evert would agree with that assumption. It was a great match and the "slow" clay always gave Evert an advantage over Navratilova.

Chrissy's last real victory against her almost male counter part. Grace and elegance and beauty and sexyness_ Evert was all those things.

It's a shame that Navratilova seems to be mostly overlooked when celebrating legends of the game, fact is that she won a total of 354 titles (singles,doubles and mixed), nobody in the game (mens or womens) comes even remotely close that achievement

17 Don Budge vs. Gottfried Von Cramm (1937 Davis Cup)

I remember this one

What is this crap? all people from this year is dead LOL

18 Goran Ivanisevic vs. Patrick Rafter (2001 Wimbeldon Final)

Was going for Rafter but Goran was amazing! He broke Australian hearts!

Maybe not the best match, but definitely my most memorable. I cried when Goran won.

Greatest emotional match of all time

The story. It is all about the story...

19 Verdasco vs Nadal (2009 Australian Open semis)

Wouldn't find a more higher quality match ever including all the epic Federer-Nadal-Djokovic battles. No, this was 2 guys letting go and displaying the full free flowing nature of their games. The recurring theme to one-up the other, the back and forth drama between rallies, the emotions shown after every point - this match had it all.

Greatest left handed match ever! 5h15 of pure tennis, with both incredible effects and power. Nadal hit tremendous shots (e.g. banana's shot at 6-7 5-4 40A),Verdasco made an incredible 4th set tie break.

20 Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka (Australian Open 2013, 4th Round)

I thought the match was amazing the first time I watched it, and since then I've lost count of how many times I've rewatched the highlights. This is the match that made me a Wawrinka fan.

The most memorable tennismatch I've seen in 35 years.

On one side drama, quality and tension were unreal. On the other side it kickstarted the career of the loser of this epic battle. A mentally devastating defeat, with a career breaking potential, surprisingly built the base of one of the most beautiful stories tennis history has written.

A great match - one of the best I’ve ever seen

21 Roger Federer vs. Pete Sampras (2001 Wimbeldon Fourth Round)

The end of an era, Fed is truly the master, he out serve-and-volleys Sampras and then goes on to play the most successful baseline game in history.

Storied start to Rogers career, breaking Petes 38 match Wimby streak on Petes favorite court. Roger was 19 at the time. Roger wins the first game by serving 4 aces. Classic Wimbledon. Lots of bang-bang serve and volley dealt by two of the greatest, in hindsight, while the torch was being passed from one to the other.

22 Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal: (2009 Madrid Semifinal)

Novak Djokovic

It was an amazing macth in more than 4 hours

Woowww great match

23 Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov (2017 Australian Open Semifinal)

Almost 6 hours of what tennis truly is about: fighting.

Beautifully played epic.

Thrilling, nerves all around, high expectations from nadal and he delivered..
Watched full match standing, no toilet breaks either

24 Stan Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic (French Open 2015, Final)

No player had never reached the level of tennis Stan played during that game. GOAT for a game

Some of the hardest hitting I have ever seen. Spectacular throughout...

Highest level of tennis I've seen from any 1 player. Stan Wawrinka in full flight is impossible to stop.

25 Jimmy Connors vs. Aaron Krickstein (1991 US Open Fourth Round)

Krickstein was the top Junior when I played as a Junior. We all idolized him. It’s cool to see him come up as a contender on this list.

Lots of drama. Krickstein got caught up in Connors web of insanity! Amazing that Connors had that run at 39 years old.

26 Boris Becker vs Pete Sampras (1996 ATP Tour Final)

Boris started the match with four Aces in a row and this was the beginning of a 5set thriller with beautiful and outstanding points from both players.
The last point is a microcosm of the whole match. For me the best indoor fast carpet match ever!

Amazing! A true classic before the Federer Nadal Djoker time.

Awesome

27 Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer (2009 Australian Open Final)

The shot-making which can happen only when the following criteria are established: Fast court, Nadal and Federer in their prime.

This match was overshadowed by the drama happened in 2008, otherwise I would rate this match right on top with Wimbledon 2008 final if not better.

This has some of the pure best shot matching out between the two out of all their clashes. I think this one gets forgotten because of the drama of 2008 Wimbledon. That and the 5th set saw Fed fade away.

Some of the best points you'll ever see. Nadal's one point is simply the best point I'll ever see.

V 1 Comment
28 Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evertt (1978 Wimbledon Women's Final)
29 Monica Seles vs. Jennifer Capriati (1991 US Open Semifinals)

Terrific match. It’s just a shame Capriati did not pull out the win. what a heartbreaker😢😢😢

30 Boris Becker vs John McEnroe (1987 Davis Cup)
31 Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer (2006 Rome Final)

Roger was very likely to win the match with him leading 4-1 in the 5th set, and eventually he held 2 match points at 6-5, however, he could not convert these two points with the first point not being converted when Federer hit a forehand long, and the second point going away in similar fashion with Federer hitting another forehand out, having leveled the game at deuce, Nadal won the game on his serve and forced the match to go into a 5th set tiebreaker, Federer had the chance to win the match again while being up 5-3 in the tiebreak, but lost 4 points in a row to lose the match and possibly the closest chance he has ever gotten to win the Italian Open title. - AndreDaGamer

32 Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal (2007 Wimbledon Final)

Quickly overshadowed by their revenge in 2008 and the AO final in 2009, the 2007 Wimbledon final was definitely a classic in terms of shootmaking ; superseding, according to many experts, the "1980 Borg-Mcenroe", or at least some of the "too-often-idealized Edberg-Becker" finals.

Considering the context of 2007 I don't think we have seen such intense tennis before in a matche between the best two players of the ATP ranking.

Nadal played surprisingly well on that day and had no complexe against the "King of grass"... and Federer at his prime had to produce his very best tennis, especially in the final set.

I sincerely believe that this chapter in the Federer-Nadal saga took place at their respective physical and psychological peak, even if both of them play probably "smarter" today in 2018 than in 2007.

Many of their previous or subsequent confrontations have been marked by inferiority complexes, health issues or more ...more

33 Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic (2013 Wimbledon Final)
34 Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King [Battle of the Sexes, 1973]

A more important match to the history of Tennis than any of the others listed here.

35 Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall (1972 WCT Final)

Saw this match on T.V. at the time and could not believe it; This, for their time, is the equal of the Nadal and Federer rivalry.

The 2 just played great, tried there best and the match made history.

36 Nadal vs Coria (2005 Rome Final)

Great match and great returning. Nadal dethrones Coria to take the title King of Clay.

The two just tried there best, played great and made a great match in history.

Watch the highlights this match was non-stop action with incredible defense, shot making, and razor-close scoreline.

37 Del Potro vs. Federer (2009 US Open Final)

Very, very occasionally a player can go out and peak right on the moment on the biggest stage. Del Potro just went for it, nailing the ball time after time. And wound up Federer big time. Federer and Agassi are the two who truly brought out the best in great opponents

38 Roger Federer vs Andy Murray (2012 Wimbledon Final)
39 Boris Becker vs Ivan Lendl (1988 ATP Tour Final)

A brutal match point to top off a memorable match. Neither player deserved to lose this one!

40 Marcos Baghdatis vs David Nalbandian (Australian Open 2006, Semifinal)
41 Stanislas Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic (Australian Open 2014, QF)
42 Nick Kyrgios vs. Andreas Seppi (2nd Round Australian Open)
43 Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras (2000 Australian Open)
44 Connors vs Pernfors (Wimbledon, 1987)

Two sets to love down, 5-1 down...and Connors summons up the grit yet again to win this epic. Pernfors was a top five player that day. Beat that interneters..

45 Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka (US Open 2013, SF)
46 Chris Evert vs Evonne Goolagong 1976 Wimbledon final

It was a match up of the top 2 players of the time with contrasting styles. Chris Evert had a comfortable lead in head to head matches with Evonne overall, but Evonne held the edge on grass. This match was the first one where Evert beat Goolagong on grass in a grand slam event. It was a thrilling 3-setter. Evert won in the 3rd set by taking the net away from Evonne in a move that surprised Evonne. At match point, Evert hit a sublime lob over Evonne to close out the game and match. It was a thriller, despite neither player playing their best.

47 Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal (2014 French Open Semi Final)

This was a final, not a semi bro.

48 McEnroe vs. Connors (1984 Wimbledon Final)

McEnroe was the most skilful player and Connors the greatest fighter. This match had them at their best. Over 4 riveting hours.

Simply the most perfect display of tennis ever by McEnroe or anyone before or since, this was absolutely breathtaking.
If you don't believe me please watch the quality of McEnroe in this match on YouTube

Wow that was incredible, I'm too young to of seen this live thanks for sharing this, what a performance

McEnroe was as close to perfection that you can be.

V 1 Comment
49 Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray 2012 Australian Open SemiFinal
50 Mark Philippoussis vs Richard Krajicek (2002 Wimbledon Quarterfinal)
PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Male Tennis Player Hottest Men in Tennis Hottest Female Tennis Player Best Tennis Racquet Brands Best Female Tennis Players of All Time

List Stats

2,000 votes
51 listings
8 years, 32 days old

Top Remixes

1. Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012 Australian Open Final)
2. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008 Wimbeldon Final)
3. Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic (2013 Roland Garros Semifinal)
Jordan10
1. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008 Wimbeldon Final)
2. Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe (1980 Wimbledon Final)
3. Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012 Australian Open Final)
MatrixGuy

WRemix

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P