Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time

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

Greatest tennis match of all time! Had everything and the quality of tennis was unlike anything we had seen before.

Federer has been my favorite player ever since I got into the sport of tennis and his performance was just spectacular. I realize he lost, but that's because Nadal was also playing some of the best tennis he's ever played. That match started a long run of consecutive wins and amazing play for Nadal. This match showed the best out of both players. They deserve the title for the best match ever.

This match is as firmly the greatest as Michael Jackson is in entertainment
or Ronnie O'Sullivan is in snooker.

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

Longest grand slam final ever. A "good morning" after the match made it special. Novak and Rafa just wanted to claim that they want to win every point. 2 heroes, 1 epic match. Thank you for the unbelievable 5 hour and 53 minutes' performance.

No other match come close in intensity and quality with precision. Mother of all tennis matches

Federer Vs Nadal 2008 Wimbledon finals was simply super human, but this Australian Open 2012 match was no doubt the greatest ever. No other match in tennis history beats the class, fitness and the intensity of this.
This is truly a clash of the titans and for that matter one of the greatest events in the world of Sports.

It is number 1 tennis match in the history, no other match equals to it..

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

The best match tennis of the world

This match deserves its best ever ranking in every respect. It is the finest clay court match I’ve ever had the privilege to watch.

It is also a perfect counterpoint to the epic 2012 Australian Open final. After the AO match, Nadal said it was disheartening to have played the best tennis of his career and still lose. His revenge was this victory.

Best match played on clay ever

The best match I've ever seen

4 Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick (2009 Wimbledon Final)

Andy would have won this if he had served first. When a player has to play catch up regarding serve in a final set, he or she tends to be at a disadvantage. My heart went out to Andy but he was magnanimous in defeat.

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.

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

The only way this match would have been perfect is if Roddick would have found a way to win.

5 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

6 Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer (2019 Wimbledon Final)

What a match. I would say it is the greatest match ever. Roger was 37 and Novak was 32 which was unbelievable. Novak won with 3 tiebreaks which was unbelievable. He saved 2 championship points from Roger's serve which was unbelievable. The match went into the first tiebreak in set 5 in Wimbledon history which was unbelievable. No way to neglect this match on the list. The 4 hour and 57 minutes' match could be an Oscar winning movie. Greatest admiration to both players. There was no runner-up in this match.

This match deserves to be up in this list. Roger Federer at the age of 37 years pushing Djokovic to one of the most dramatic and emotional 5 set matches to ever be played is something that will probably never happen in Tennis ever again. This match gave the fans everything they wanted to see, altough the end might have left a sour taste in some peoples mouth. I think that if Roger Federer had the chance to change one thing in his career it would be that he had won this game. If he had won this game I think the GOAT debate would have been settled down for quite some time, because winning Wimbledon at the age of 37 against one of your greatest rivals is astonishing.It is definitely the best match these two have ever played against each other and it is a joy to watch.

This is one of the greatest matches of all time just lasting shy of 5 hours, a collision of the top 2 seeds, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in a rematch of the 2014 Wimbledon Final, it started with the first set with neither player being able to break each other and it going a tiebreak which went to Djokovic 7-6, (7-5) with each player trading mini breaks, however it seemed Djokovic lost all of his momentum going into the second set as he lost 1-6, the third set started and in similar form to the first set, neither player was able to break each other and yet again the set went to a tiebreak and Djokovic won the third set 7-6 (7-4), in almost the same fashion as in the second set, Djokovic lost his momentum and Federer dominated Djokovic and was serving for the set 5-2, at this point Djokovic hadn't had a break point, but he gained a break point but Federer leveled the game to deuce and he eventually broke Federer and held onto his serve to bring the set to 5-4, Federer eventually ...more

I wish Roger won, but it was an incredibly great match; the 5th set game at 11-11 which Roger lost was a truly great game. I think Roger spent a lot on that game.

7 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (Australian Open 2017 Final)

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.

What a comeback for Roger Federer! 6 months away from the game and to come back with so much grit. What a final set, Roger 3-1 down in the 5th set and to gain 5 games on the trot was simply unbelievable. Credit also goes to Rafa for playing such a good match to take it to the 5th set.

What makes this match so special is that Federer had just taken 6 months off, had dropped to no. 17 in the world and wasn't expected to make it past the third round. He ended up beating his biggest rival in the Grand Final after being down a break and suffering from a leg injury in the fifth set. He had finally claimed the 18th major that had eluded him for so long. What Federer accomplished in those two weeks at the Aussie Open is Hollywood-worthy.

In terms of exalted level of play and tennis historic (GOAT-esque) stakes, this is, for me, right up there with their epic 2008 Wimbledon Final. I am a huge Federer fan and so, of course, was thrilled to see him get the best of his great rival/nemesis in a 5 set match for the first time in a decade. Roger's complete "go for it" determination and unprecedentedly (Wawrinka-esque) powerful flat one-handed backhand changed the usual dynamics of the match-up and allowed him to prevail in the decisive fifth set where he had, typically, faltered. (Props to his new coach I.L. for getting him to stay fearlessly aggressive and to abandon the backhand slice! ) A truly epic and totally unexpected encounter between the (near) consensus two greatest players of all time -- and one that exceeded all possible expectations. Toss up between this and the 2008 Wimbledon classic -- but, as a Fed Fan, if I had to choose between them, I'll go with this. Bravo to both legends on this latest reminder of their ...more

8 John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut (2010 Wimbledon 1st Round)

Longest match ever. Both served over 100 aces. They've shown the grit of tennis players. Tennis is beautiful in this way.

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

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

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

There are two era's of tennis, the old era which is dominated by wooden rackets and older equipment (essentially pre-graphite), ending at around the early 1990's and the new era where predominantly the technology outgrew the old style of playing and used the lighter carbon-fibre rackets, allowing for more "flamboyant" "squash style" strokes and producing faster ball speeds, which in turn required a different sort of player than the old era.

The difference between the two eras developed a wholly different game - for example, what we in the old era called "hacking" (playing predominantly from the back of the court) where with old wooden rackets you would be more likely beaten by a good net player, especially on grass, in the new era this style became the norm on all surfaces. You only have to Google the state of grass courts in the second week of a slam from the old era vs the new to see how much the game has changed in this respect. Aside from the ...more

It was the day of our engaged and I supported Bjorn Borg and my future husband John McEnroe. It was just unbelievable tennis. Would not go out to celebrate until the end of the match. Because of this match I always still watch tennis

To me still the ultimate clash of styles and temperament, without mentioning the 18-16 tiebreak - the greatest 22 minutes of tennis ever. This to me was the last great gasp of the wooden racket era, with deft shots, volleys and passes aplenty. Also loved that both families-friends sat in the same box, so we were able from a cinematic perspective see their reactions at the same time.

I still remember this like it was yesterday, it was a beautiful summer day outside but I was glued to my T.V. set. I agree that this should be number 1, probably most of the younger voters have never seen it.

10 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

The Contenders

11 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

12 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

13 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".

Very memorable match..I was there! This one gets my vote!

Standing ovation in a quarter final says it all

I was there

14 Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1981 Wimbeldon Final)

One of the best matches between two players if different styles and personalities. A repeat of 1980 but the winner being different. Superior serving of McEnroe enabled him to snatch victory.

You mean 1980 final

McEnroe just did not give up

15 Roger Federer vs Marat Safin (2005 Australian Open)

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

I have never seen such quality of play being sustained for so long.

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

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

Best match ever.

CHANGING, FULL OF QUALITY AND EMOTIONS.

17 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.

I find it odd that this match would be listed 17th.

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

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

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

What an outstanding match. I remember it so vividly. Then the war came and ravaged my land...

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

I remember this one

19 Verdasco vs Nadal (2009 Australian Open semis)

It was a five-set thriller that had everything, high drama, adrenaline, passion, a ball magically flying around the net only to land milimetrically on court (Nadal's), incredible spin (Verdasco's) making the ball spring sideways upon touching the court only to be met with even more incredible spin in return, a multi-point rally finished with a clock-precision dropshot (Verdasco's), a ball being hit in a semi-squatting position sending the opponent in bullet-speed from one extreme corner to the other extreme, hitting back a precision backhand slice (Nadal's), and then winning the point. In short, that match overshadows the Fed-Nadal final and will be forever engraved in my memory.

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.

Beast vs a God

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 Goran Ivanisevic vs. Patrick Rafter (2001 Wimbeldon Final)

Just can't contain my emotions. Finally it's over. 4th chance to grab the Wimbledon championship and he's done it at the age of 30, just with ranking 125 and a precious wildcard. Very nervous when the match went into set 5 and heart was pounding fast when Goran converted the break point. Hands got sweaty when Goran faced the championship point for 4 times and the dream finally came true! One of the most touching moments in life.

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...

21 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

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

Five sets of absolute quality. No one lost this match, but Rafa won. Amazing!

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

Incredible quality from both players.

Both players were good enough to win

23 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 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.

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.

24 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.

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

Novak Djokovic

It was an amazing macth in more than 4 hours

Woowww great match

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

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

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...

27 Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic (2013 Wimbledon Final)

This wiz such an emotional they. Ah tried tae stey calm, even made a cup o’ tea an’ made some toast an’ cheese. Ah thoaght if it’s gaunnae be it’s gaunnae be. AM wiz jist incredible oan the they as and played really well. That last gemm huz cemented it’s sel in history. When AM wan ah went mental Jist as ah hud done efter the US Open an’ the Olympic final. Ah hud a few swally in the fridge an’ celebrated by drinkin’ them an’ watchin’ Sky sports news fur aboot five hoors then watched the highlights show. Whit an incredible they fur British tennis. Man it made me happy.

28 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

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

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

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.

30 Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer (2006 Rome Final)

Two of the best players and still playing awesome tennis. Congratulations guys.

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.

31 Boris Becker vs John McEnroe (1987 Davis Cup)
32 Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall (1972 WCT Final)

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

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.

33 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.

34 Stanislas Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic (Australian Open 2014, QF)
35 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.

36 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😢😢😢

37 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

38 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.

39 Connors vs Pernfors (Wimbledon, 1987)

I remember Pernfors being brilliant; one of those impossibly gifted players. But Connors did it. Outstanding recovery.

Greatest game ever

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..

40 Roger Federer vs Andy Murray (2012 Wimbledon Final)
41 Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evertt (1978 Wimbledon Women's Final)
42 Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray 2012 Australian Open SemiFinal
43 Nick Kyrgios vs. Andreas Seppi (2nd Round Australian Open)
44 Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal (2014 French Open Semi Final)

This was a final, not a semi bro.

45 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!

46 Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras (2000 Australian Open)
47 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

48 Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka (US Open 2013, SF)

Most underrated match in tennis history.

Great Match

49 Rafael Nadal vs Daniil Medvedev (2019 US Open Final)

-Emotional Match
-Best Match of the Tournament
-Vamos Rafa

50 Marcos Baghdatis vs David Nalbandian (Australian Open 2006, Semifinal)
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