What are the best tennis matches ever? Find out the answer as we list down the most exciting games that have been played in history. Truly, they are one for the books and any true aficionado of the sport will surely know these matches!
Table of Contents
- 1 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2017)
- 2 Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012)
- 3 Serena Williams vs Elena Dementieva (2009)
- 4 Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008)
- 5 Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi (2001)
- 6 Jimmy Connors vs Aaron Krickstein (1991)
- 7 Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova (1985)
- 8 Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1980)
- 9 Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall (1972)
- 10 Suzanne Lenglen vs Helen Mills (1926)
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2017)
Two of the best names in the sport in one game – this is a dream come true for many fans, making it one of the most famous tennis matches in the history of the sport. This clash happened in finals of the Australian Open 2017. The scores were 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, and 6-3, making Federer the winner. This match marked the 18th Grand Slam victory for Federer, which cemented his reputation as one of the best athletes of his time. This also marked Federer’s fifth win in the Australian Open, with the last time of which being in 2010.
Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal (2012)
This Australian Open Final game is another one that deserves to be included on the list of the most legendary tennis matches. The game lasted five hours and 53 minutes, which kept fans all over the world holding their breaths to see who will emerge victoriously. At its duration, it is considered as the longest game of tennis to have been recorded in a Grand Slam finals match. In the end, it was Djokovic who took home the win at scores of 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, and 7-5. The show of athleticism and endurance made the game one of the most talked-about in the world of sports.
Serena Williams vs Elena Dementieva (2009)
This game was a semi-final at the Wimbledon and has been a defining point in the sports career of the two players, making it another one worth including in the list of the greatest tennis matches in history. In the third set of the game, Williams was held at match point, making her fans nervous. However, as she was always known for, she did a fierce comeback and eventually won the Wimbledon title. It was a disappointing game for Dementieva as this has hindered her goal of achieving a Grand Slam title.
Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal (2008)
Any match played by these two greats is sure to be historical. No wonder why their Wimbledon Finals in 2008 is also ranked as one of the top ten tennis matches of all time. In the 2007 Wimbledon, the two fought with Federer ending up being the winner after a five-set game. In 2008, the two met again and played for four hours and 48 minutes, making history as the longest Wimbledon final that has ever been played. After an exciting game, Nadal took home the coveted trophy.
Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi (2001)
This game was played in the US Open Quarter Final. In combination, the two players had 20 major titles and they were already at the twilight of the careers when the match happened. They also have different playing styles. With scores of 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, and 7-6, Sampras ended up as the winner. To many who have witnessed the game, it is an acrobatic performance that showcased the strengths and speed of the two players.
Jimmy Connors vs Aaron Krickstein (1991)
When Connors played in this game, he was already 38 years old, which many experts would consider as being already ten years past his peak. A year prior to that, he had a wrist injury and a surgery, which made him play only three matches, all of which he lost. In the 1991 US Open, however, he proved that he is ageless and he still got what it takes to dominate the court. It was also his 39th birthday, which made the win more special.
Oldie, but goodie – this is what this match is all about. A lot of our younger readers may no longer recognize the two, but their French Open Finals is one worth mentioning when listing down classic tennis matches. The two players have contrasting styles, which made their game more exciting and interesting. The tension is highly-evident between the two and you can tell that both of them wanted the win badly.
Bjorn Borg vs John McEnroe (1980)
Played at the Wimbledon Final, the game has so much drama, making it one of the greatest tennis matches of all time. In this game, Borg won over McEnroe with a score of 1-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, and 8-6. It may not have started well for Borg, but he was able to reclaim himself in the succeeding sets, allowing him to take home the trophy of the finals. Another reason why it is one of the best tennis matches is due to the glaring contrast between their playing styles. It was a game of a righty versus a lefty and a defender versus an attacker.
Rod Laver vs Ken Rosewall (1972)
This is another game that may no longer sound familiar to most of you. According to Rod Laver, in his memoir, this game at the 1972 WCT Finals is perhaps what made tennis in the US. At that time, Laver was 33 and Rosewall was 37. They have already played against each other for 137 times, including those games played while they are still amateurs. It is one of the classic tennis matches since it was televised, a big thing to happen in 1972. It made a record-breaking 23 million audience throughout the world.
Suzanne Lenglen vs Helen Mills (1926)
Lenglen, at that time, had six Wimbledon wins and eight Grand Slams. Her opponent, Mills, had 19 Grand Slams. Two of the most dominant players during their time, they met and played only once, which was during this small match in Carlton Club in Cannes. One thing that makes this game intriguing is that in one of the sets, the crowd had to make a call and not the linesman. At the end of their game, it was Lenglen who emerged the winner.