The Australian Open gets underway at the end of the month, here we’ve had a look at the top 5 matches from previous tournaments.
Boris Becker vs. Omar Camporese, Third Round 1991
Ranked No.45 at the time, 22-year old Omar Camporese captivated the Australian audience, almost pulling off one of the most remarkable comebacks in tennis history in 1991.
Not only did Camporese come back from a two set deficit against the heavily favoured Boris Becker, but he then fought off a triple match point with Becker serving at 40-0 in the 22nd game of the marathon final set to prolong the match.
The final set lasted over two hours and both players held serve for the first 20 games. Becker finally broke serve in the 21st game and had three match points, until Camporese saved all three and won five consecutive points.
Andy Roddick vs. Younes El Aynaoui, Quarter Final 2003
Both Andy Roddick and Younes El Aynaoui had won marathon fourth round matches, but they put on a superb five setter in the quarter finals. The match lasted for four hours and 59 minutes and was the longest Australian Open match at the time.
The final set lasted two hours and 23 minutes and took the match to another level of excitement. Roddick served for the match at 11-10, but El Aynaoui broke back and both players took a rest at 19-19. Roddick broke serve in the following game, and then served out the match to progress to the semi-finals.
Novak Djokovic vs. Stan Wawrinka, Fourth Round 2013
Despite Stan Wawrinka losing to Djokovic in five sets, this match signalled his breakthrough to the elite level and showed that he is a legitimate contender to the Big 4. Wawrinka led 6-1, 5-2, before Djokovic started his comeback. The Serb won the second and third sets, before Wawrinka rallied and won the fourth set in a tiebreaker.
The match reached its highest intensity levels on the final point as Wawrinka fought off two match points with big backhands. On the third match point, the players engaged in a 20-stroke rally which ended with Djokovic catching his opponent out with a backhand.
Marat Safin vs. Roger Federer, Semi Finals 2005
Roger Federer went into this game having lost just one match in 12 consecutive Grand Slams, but he came up against an incredible performance from Marat Safin. Federer showed great resiliency in the fifth set as he fought back from 5-2 down and fought off six match points, but Safin was ruthless. Serving at 7-8, 15-40, Federer served an ace which erased a sixth match point, but he couldn’t save the seventh as he fell while retrieving a Safin shot.
Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal, Final 2012
Djokovic and Nadal faced off in the final for the third straight Grand Slam event and this one was an absolute classic. Nadal had lost his last six matches against Djokovic and raced into a one set lead, before Djokovic won the second after a tie break. Rain arrived and the game finished under a closed roof. Djokovic went 5-3 up in the fourth set and was two points away from victory, until Nadal won four straight points and saved the game.
Nadal had momentum on his side and took a 4-2 lead in the final set, but Djokovic rallied back and broke the serve, tying the match at 4-4. Djokovic went on to hold break serve again in the 11th game and took a 30-0 leade before Nadal fought back for the final time, winning three points in a row to earn a break-point opportunity. However, Djokovic won the next three points and won the title.