Greatest Tennis Matches of All Time

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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

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.

Grande Nadal

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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

The 2008 wimbledon final was the best... Until this match was played

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

What a match! Thriller

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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.

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

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5 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

Best ever, this was a LEGACY MATCH

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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

Incredible shot making by both. unbelievable match

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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

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

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 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.

That this is number 10 says this list is a joke created by people under 30

Simply the greatest

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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)

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.

Revenge of the weak!

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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 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 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...

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

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

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

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 Verdasco vs Nadal (2009 Australian Open semis)

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.

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

Novak Djokovic

It was an amazing macth in more than 4 hours

Woowww great match

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

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

23 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.

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

Beautifully played epic.

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

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

Awesome

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

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.

The moment Federer broke down and cried because he just couldn't beat Rafa. The highest quality final

27 Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evertt (1978 Wimbledon Women's Final)
28 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.

29 Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal (2007 Wimbledon Final)
30 Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall (1972 WCT Final)

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

31 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.

32 Boris Becker vs John McEnroe (1987 Davis Cup)
33 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

34 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..

35 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!

36 Monica Seles vs. Jennifer Capriati (1991 US Open Semifinals)
37 Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic (2013 Wimbledon Final)
38 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.

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

This was a final, not a semi bro.

40 Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer (2006 Rome Final)
41 Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras (2000 Australian Open)
42 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

I was 15 when I watched this anihalation, it was the most perfect game of tennis by McEnroe that nobody before or after has never come close to bettering.
The talent and the skill and prowess of McEnroe on this day was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever witnessed, McEnroe was so good on this day it brings a tear of joy to my eye remembering it.

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43 Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray 2012 Australian Open SemiFinal
44 Wilander vs Lendl (US open Final, 1988).

Wilander's peak. Unreal baseline tennis, patience and strategy for over 5 hours. He was a chess master on that day and finally got the monkey off his back. 3rd grand slam that year.

What a match, at one point wilander was cruising - set up and 4-1 in second then lendl came back and rest is history. Wilander just would not let it go despite lendl making the moves. Wilander would ultimately become world number 1 after this victory driving the nemesis with 6 consecutive losses to lendl. In 1987 he lost both French and us open finals despite making lendl work for over 4 hours each time. Unfortunately wilander it is told lost motivation after this. 7 grand slams at 24 and he is done...what an achievement at such age👏👏👏👌👌👌 one of the master strategist all time.

45 Roger Federer vs Andy Murray (2012 Wimbledon Final)
46 Stanislas Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic (Australian Open 2014, QF)
47 Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka (US Open 2013, SF)
48 Nick Kyrgios vs. Andreas Seppi (2nd Round Australian Open)
49 Mark Philippoussis vs Richard Krajicek (2002 Wimbledon Quarterfinal)
50 Marcos Baghdatis vs David Nalbandian (Australian Open 2006, Semifinal)
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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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