Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Best Grand Slam Matches of 2016 – Part2

5. John Isner vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

3rd Round, The Wimbledon Championships

John Isner                  7(7)   6   6(5)   2   17
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga   6(3)   3   7(7)   6   19

425 points played, 61 aces served, 79 games in total. These statistics are somewhat enough to reveal the status of the match. But the match was even more intense than the stats. American John Isner and France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga produced one of the best matches of the year in the 3rd Round of Wimbledon. Isner took the first two sets. Tsonga nullified the deficit and forced a decider. 

In the final set, no quarter was given or asked for. 34 games past and there was no break opportunity. Tsonga finally broke Isner’s serve for the third time in the match and served out an emphatic victory. Overall, the match was an intense affair of hard and flat-hitters and big servers. Tsonga’s serve was broken only once in the match. He won an impressive 88% of his first serve and 63% of his second serve points.

4. Novak Djokovic vs Gilles Simon

4th Round, Australian Open 

Novak Djokovic   6   6(1)   6   4   6
Gilles Simon         3   7(7)   4   6   3

Gilles Simon did what no one else could do in quite some time, to the world no.1 Novak Djokovic. With a strict game plan of not giving pace to Djokovic, Simon got into the Serb’s head. So baffled was Djokovic that his movement and intensity on the court worsened. As unforced errors kept mounting, Simon kept on the heat and forced a fifth set. In the decider though, Djokovic proved his mettle to finally prevail. 

The match was one of the highlights of the tournament, including exhaustive rallies, undying spirit and 10 breaks of serve, and ending with a mammoth 100 unforced errors from the World No.1’s racquet.

3. Rafael Nadal vs Fernando Verdasco

1st Round, Australian Open

Rafael Nadal              6(6)   6   6   6(4)   2
Fernando Verdasco  7(8)   4   3   7(7)   6

Two great friends on tour stepped onto the court on a shiny afternoon in Melbourne. The duo played one of the finest matches in Grand Slam history back in 2009, when Nadal beat Verdasco in the Semis in a grueling five-setter. Surely, Verdasco had revenge on his mind. With Verdasco serving at 5-4 in the fourth set to level the match, Nadal broke back. Verdasco stole the tiebreak to force a decider but fell a breakdown. 

Saving another break point at 0-2 down, Verdasco stunned Nadal winning six games in a row and finishing the match with a forehand return winner. 

The match was a highlight reel of some stunning and fierce shot-making, witnessing 11 breaks of serve and ended little short of five hours.

2. Stan Wawrinka vs Novak Djokovic

Final, US Open

Novak Djokovic          7(7)   4   5   3
Stanislas Wawrinka   6(1)   6   7   6

The first three grand slams of the year didn’t produce any memorable final. The French Open final can be any exception only because so much history was connected with it. The final, though didn’t live up to the expectations. But the US Open final was nothing short of immaculate. A battle which lasted 3 hours and 55 minutes, produced some breathtaking shot display from the Swiss who denied the Serb his 13th Grand Slam. Djokovic quickly raced to a 4-1 lead. Wawrinka leveled the storm breaking Djokovic when he was serving for the set. Djokovic took control again as he won the set in a one-sided tiebreak.

Wawrinka broke in the second, got broken back but broke again to level the match at one set all. A pattern was forming as the third set also unfolded in the same fashion as the second. Once again, Wawrinka broke to take a two sets to one lead. Having broken early in the fourth, Wawrinka seized control and served out the match for his 3rd Grand Slam.

The match’s highlight was Stan’s shot-making, both with his forehand and the backhand. Wawrinka won 144 points to Djokovic’s 143. The Serb converted only 3 of 17 break points, which proved to be the difference in such an enticing prospect.

1. Roger Federer vs Marin Cilic

Quarter-Final, The Wimbledon Championships

Roger Federer   6(4)   4   6   7(11)   6
Marin Cilic         7(7)   6   3   6(9)     3

In probably one of the best matches ever to be played on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, Roger Federer staged a remarkable comeback, coming from 2 sets down and saving 3 match points to deny Marin Cilic a spot in the semis. Federer found himself down 2 sets and again down 0-40 in the third. Saving all 3 break points, Federer brought life into the match, taking the third set. The Fourth set saw Federer save 3 match points, two serving at 4-5 and 5-6 down and one more in the tiebreak at 6-7. Breaking Cilic’s serve for the second time in the match, Federer served out the victory with an ace.

The match was a tense affair from the start to finish. Cilic double-faulted seven times, mostly on important points.Overall, 17 break points were on offer with Federer converting 2 out of 9 and Cilic converting just 1 out of 8.

The Swiss served 27 aces, compared to 23 from Cilic. The final set saw some great shot-making from the players, but the Swiss finally prevailed after 3 hours and 18 minutes.

You may also like to read Best Grand Slam Matches of 2016 - Part1

Written by Mayank Sharma
A third year Engineering student at Delhi Technological University. An avid tennis fan and a die hard fan of Roger Federer. Loves writing articles on Tennis and developing Web pages.

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