Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Best Tennis Matches Of The Aughts

This is Sports Illustrated's best matches of the past decade. I have been fortunate enough to see 8 of them, and I do agree that they were truly the crowning glory of the sport. A bit of American bias though, Ivanisevic's championship win over Rafter at Wimbledon 2001 should've been here.

1. 2008 Wimbledon men's final
Rafael Nadal def. Roger Federer, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7

Saw this in HK. There was strawberries and cream (thanks Mida!) for the duration of the whole match including rain delays. Phenomenal stuff, saw the crack of dawn to cap off the best match of all time. I probably won't be hearing a lot of disagreements with this one.

2. 2001 U.S. Open men's quarterfinals Pete Sampras def. Andre Agassi, 6-7(7), 7-6(2), 7-6(2), 7-6(5)

Four tiebreaks, and two legends battling it out. A carryover of the 90's, this was to usher in the new age of tennis.

3. 2005 Australian Open men's semifinals
Marat Safin def. Roger Federer, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6), 9-7

I remember being in a party in BKK, and skipping out to watch this. Further proof that Safin is next to Federer as best natural ball striker out there. During Federer's prime, where no one could come close to his dominance, only one man stood out to steal a hardcourt major from him, the mercurial Marat Safin.

4. 2005 Wimbledon women's final
Venus Williams def. Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 7-6(4), 9-7

Most heartbreaking match on the list. A spectacular 25-shot rally drained the life out of Lindsay costing her the match.

5. 2009 Wimbledon men's final
Roger Federer def. Andy Roddick, 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14

Almost, almost. By 12-all in the fifth, I was saying 'ridiculous, shades of Aussie 03 again, Andy?". Wimbledon, though not as fan-friendly, never fails to disappoint turning out with the best matches.

6. 2002 Australian Open women's final
Jennifer Capriati def. Martina Hingis, 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2

The match that transformed me from casual viewer to all-out addict. This will be the last time Hingis will contest a Grand Slam championship. I miss you Martina!

7. 2004 French Open men's first round
Fabrice Santoro def. Arnaud Clement, 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 3-6, 16-14

No, I didn't see this, though I probably did see clips of it, since it went on for more than 6 hours and over 2 days.

8. 2006 Rome Masters men's final
Rafael Nadal def. Roger Federer, 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5)

No, I don't remember this, but I know I saw it. I wonder why.

9. 2003 U.S. Open women's semifinals
Justine Henin-Hardenne def. Jennifer Capriati, 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4)

The match the gave Hawkeye the critical mass to be implemented. JHH was gone by the end of the match, but still able to recompose herself and win the whole thing.

10. 2005 Tennis Masters Cup final
David Nalbandian def. Roger Federer, 6-7(4), 6-7(11), 6-2, 6-1, 7-6(3)

Ha, I was at this event! Yey. Though I did not see the final itself as I was in transit, at least I was able to attend most of the tennis.

See the match highlights compiled here.

1 talkbacks:

alvin, kid repetitive said...

Still remember #8. Roger had match points there! Then all of a sudden, Rafa had one match point then it was over. IMO, that loss cemented Rafa's mental edge over Roger.

The French Open final between Kim and Capriati was great too. Yun na lang sana instead of #6. I hated how match #6 ended.