Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time

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The Top Ten

1 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008 Wimbeldon Final)

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 was the best I have ever seen as far as ground stroke and quality of tennis. I remember my daughter complaining about my watching this match all day! This match showed me that Rafael Nadal will be one of the greatest ever. Also, it showed me Roger Federer has a heart of champion like no other. This was supposedly the end of Federer. He made 6 straight finals on Grand Slams and won 4 of them. All four of the grand slams in 6. Incredible.

Roger comes out tight and drops early breaks to lose the first two sets, then battles back to tie the match at 2-2. The 4th set tiebreaker is easily the best 20 mins of tennis in history with each player unleashing the best shots of the tournament under tremendous pressure. Losing this was a crusher for Fed so, like a true champion, he made the next 5 Grand Slam finals, winning 3. The best ever.

The shot making from both was unbelievable, paritucularly the backhand passig shots from Nadal were unbelievable, and it was also the most dramatic tennis match of all time, never in my life have I seen a tennis match that had everything, this match had it all.

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

This spectacular match is the longest and most thrilling grand slam final ever. The sure brialliance of Djokovic and the will and determination for Nadal defined every rally. The match was also the longest grand slam final at a colossal 5 hours 53 minutes of break taking tennis. This is the greatest tennis match of all time and many of the sports greats agree too, Borg and Agassi just to name a few.

"Novak has proven he is the best returner in history" -Andre Agassi
"This was the best match I've ever witnessed" -Pete Sampras
"You think you've seen everything and then you see this (match)" -Patrick McEnroe
"Well, there's nothing left to say here... Simply the greatest match I ever saw in my lifetime" -John McEnroe
"A new definition of suffering to win the title" -Mary Carillo
"It's simply incredible what these tow have accomplished" -Mats Wilander
"We are witnessing an instant classic" -Rod Laver

Just looking at them after the match and in disbelief how they could still move. Was awesome seeing how they had given every single bit of energy they had, loved when they got chairs during the trophy presentation. - Patriots1884

The dedication,skill and perseverence shown by two legends of the game is unmatched in any other tennis match ever played. The intensity of the rallies didn't decrease even in the last few games of the 5th set, speakes volumes of the fitness and passion both had for tennis and more importatnly that trophy

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

The best match tennis of the world

Nadal is the best

The best match I've ever seen

To me it was the resurrection of the king of clay. Nadal on clay is the highest form of domination and supremacy this sport ever saw. The highest tennis level ever recorded to me.
And this match was the highest point of epicness I see on Rafa in his element.
There was anything: domination, comebacks, drama, controversy, incredible points, very tense atmosphere. I just loved it!

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4 Roger Federer vs Andy Roddick (2009 Wimbledon Final)

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

Oh for me it was the most entertaining match when two of the world's greatest players played their heart out

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

What a match especially the last set 16-14 it rivals 2008 final

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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

Incredible shot making by both. unbelievable match

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6 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 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

I remember very well seeing the 2008 Wimbledon final, all this talk about Nadal not being able to win on grass just yet, but for some reason I saw that he could do it, and he did. It was a scintillating match but, as a Federer fanboy, I was so disappointed I could not bear to rewatch it, though I appreciate its greatness. I was losing faith that there would ever be a battle to match it. Then after many years and tears Roger would finally prevail; The Australian Open 2017. With the Disneylike fairytale boy dream storyline, glorious beautiful tennis, using the scorching backhand as an improved skill or superpower, it was the most epic superhero sports spectacle ever seen!

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

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 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

9 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

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

The whole of tennis history changed with this match. New era, new skill. McEnroe the god was born...

The mother of modern tennis finals.

The match has its own movie now; "Borg vs. McEnroe."

This is simply The Match!

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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)

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.

It was the semi. Greatest match I've seen. Power baseline hitting.

Marat Safin's masterpiece, this match was the best he ever played againts a top form Federer, ending a 27 match win. One of the most memorable wins in tennis history

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

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...

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.

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

18 Don Budge vs. Gottfried Von Cramm (1937 Davis Cup) V 1 Comment
19 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.

20 Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal: (2009 Madrid Semifinal) V 3 Comments
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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)
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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)
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