Top 8 Matches Played at Australian Open : SportsThat View

Marat Safin of Russia, fourth seed, right, shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland, top seed, after their mens singles semifinal match, at the Australian Open on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005. Safin won in five sets, 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6, 9-7. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

The tennis season has begun and the players are playing the warm-up tournaments for the Australian Open and the first Grand Slam of the year  is around the corner.

So we at SportsThat reviewed the best matches played ever at Australian open till now. We would love to hear from you about your favorite matches played at the happy Slam. Do share with us about your favorite matches in comments .

SportsThat View of the top 8 matches played at Australian open .

[8] Mats Wilander def Pat Cash, SF 1988 [6-3, 6-7(3), 3-6, 6-1, 8-6]

Wilander took 4 hours 28 minutes to beat the Australian Pat Cash in an exhalting match. The weather was the latent player in the match. It was windy, often cloudy too, and the match was twice interrupted by the rains, for 33 minutes in the second set when Wilander was 4-1 up, whicb he lost and for 18 minutes in the fourth set when Cash had a break point for a 4-0 lead.

The second interruption flooded the court at Flinders Park. When the play resumed, Wilander keenly volleyed, which wasn’t enough to tackle the returns from Cash. Whereas, Cash began to serve well. The two players covered the entire baseline, running around it for every shot, going from sunlight to shade, back and forth repeatedly.

The strong-willed players were very consistent on their games. By the fourth set, Wilander served extremely well and won 8 out of 9 games, whereas Cash seemed fatigued. While Wilander was using his forehand weapon, Cash left no shot unresponsive. As the crowd cheered, Cash pumped himself up again and pushed the match into a decider. The fifth set was a shower of hard-won points, instead of more errors. The turning point came when Wilander, with his incredible physical and mental resilience, kept himself in a rally he twice seemed to have lost. This gave him a second chance, which he used as a golden opportunity to break the 7-6 situation. He held his serve and went on to win the match.

“I played pretty well”, Cash said, “but Mats was too good on the day.” Somebody asked Wilander if he felt he had ruined an Australian party. “Such a great match,” he said, “couldn’t ruin anything.”



[7] Andy Roddick def Younes El Aynaoui, QF 2003 [4-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 21-19]

Roddick survived a 83-game marathon match. The two players traded sets for the opening two hours before embarking on a marathon fifth set, where the American won after an exemplary 5 hours, reaching a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time. The 20 year old Roddick though struggled in the second round, but eventually won the tie-break from the 31 year old Moroccan. The two played the longest set of the Open Era, which is longest played even today, while Roger Federer and Roddick hold the record for the second longest fifth set, 16-14 at the Wimbledon 2009 final.

The exhausted players walked off the court hand-in-hand. A young Roddick said after the match, there was no strategy, it was just pure fighting. He had saved a match point as well.



[6] Marat Safin def Roger Federer, SF 2005 [5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6), 9-7]

This match was one of the finest ever to have been played at Melbourne. The thrilling 5 set match concluded with the Russian’s victory as he moved to the final. This enthralling encounter left the Swiss maestro in a physical distress but his stubbornness took Safin to the worst case. It was a test of two strengths, the edgy one prevailed.



[5] Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def Rafael Nadal, SF 2008 [6-2, 6-3, 6-2]

Unseeded Frenchman, blew away the world number 2, Rafael Nadal, to reach the 2008 final. The Muhammad Ali look-alike, proved to share not only his face, but some wisdom also from the boxing legend. The victory was of such class, that it was a sharp warning for the prospective opponent, either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic, as the second semi-final was yet to happen. The scores don’t show much of the hardwork put in, had the result been the opposite. But Tsonga’s forehands were way beyond the reach for the Spaniard to return. This weapon helped him throughout the match, as he qualified for the final against Djokovic.

“I was in my rhythm, I was playing fine but I don’t have a chance in this match,” said Nadal. “I tried to play a little slower, I tried to play faster, I tried to play more inside the court, more behind the baseline, but no chance. He played unbelievable.” “Federer is Federer. He can play at this level, but better than tonight is really difficult.”


[4] Stan Wawrinka def Novak Djokovic, QF 2014 [2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7]

This match was a revenge for the 2013 4R exit for the Swiss, where he lost to the Serb in a 5-setter. The QF of 2014 left Djokovic, stunned and awed, when he wasn’t expecting such high quality of tennis. Though Stan started slow, he picked up soon, later in the second and the third set, going down again in the fourth and pushing the match to a decider against the defending champion.

The fifth set could have been extended to be a marathon one, had Wawrinka not broken Djokovic in the 15th game of the set and 50th game of the match. Stan deserved the victory and defeated the 2012 finalist and the 2009 champion, Rafael Nadal in the final to win his first Grand Slam.

[3] Rafael Nadal def Roger Federer, Final 2009 [7-5, 3-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2]

This was a match, very close to both of the competitors’ hearts, as one of those was bidding to win his first hard court Grand Slam and the other was aiming to win a Grand Slam which he had won for 5 previous years, and was bidding to equal Pete Sampras’s record of 14 Grand Slams. It was a battle between the top 2 players of the world.

It was the first time that Federer received the beaten finalist’s plate at the Australian Open, he was so emotionally injured, that he could only cry while standing there for a speech. He said “Hey guys!” and the crowd cheered the crying player.”God it’s killing me” he said during his first try and his then girlfriend, now his wife, Mirka Vavrinec (Federer) looked on from the entourage’s box with her hand over her mouth, and the Swiss stepped away from the microphone, and Nadal draped a consoling arm around Federer’s neck. It was remarked as the most respectable sportsmanship moment in the history of sports. Federer was given some time to settle.

“Sorry for today Roger, I know how you are feeling right now. But remember that you are one of the greatest champions from the history and you will go on to improve the 14,” said Nadal. By this epic four and a half hour victory, Nadal had defeated Federer on 3 different surfaces, 3 different colors.



[2] Rafael Nadal def Fernando Verdasco, SF 2009 [6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(2), 6-7(1), 6-4]

It was one of the best matches of 2009, as it allowed Nadal to make it to his firsr ever hard court Grand Slam final, which he won later, defeating Federer in the final. This match was recorded as the longest match in the tournament’s history till then, lasting for 5 hours 14 minutes. The world number 1 defeated the world number 14 in an enthralling, scintillating and an exhaustive match as he won, a harsh 5-set match, and it all ended when Verdasco served a double fault. Long rallies, almost no mistakes from the two, kept the spectators interested in every shot till the end, staying silent, giving standing ovations for both the players for exemplary shots. From wrapping ice packed towels on the shoulders, to calling a trainer on the court, this match had the entire definition of tennis in itself.

“Today was one of those matches, you’re going to remember a long time.” “In the last game, at 0-40, I started to cry. It was too much tension. Fernando was playing, I think, at his best level. He deserved this final, too,”said Nadal.

Verdasco was disappointed that he drained so much energy from his friend. “Really a pity. I want him to be 100% to play the final. I wish him best of luck. I hope that he will win,” said Verdasco. And Nadal was right, we remember that match even today, after 10 years.

[1] Novak Djokovic def Rafael Nadal, Final 2012 [5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5]

This match broke all previous records, being the longest final ever played in a Grand Slam final, for 5 matches and 53 minutes, nearing 6 hours. It was a battle of strength, perseverance, determination, endurance, agility, athleticism, and much more. In a quest to quench the title, the high-spirited men were not ready to give up on any of the points of the entire match. Djokovic had spent 4 hours and 50 minutes in the semi-final to knock out Andy Murray; but the Serbian was no less on energy at any point of time, and went on to win the final.

“His return is probably one of the best in history,” said an astoished Nadal, “(It almost) makes it everytime.” The only sign of grimace was etched on the Spaniard’s face. Djokovic remained calm for a change, although he could not help collapsing on the ground after losing a 32-shot rally in the decider. As he broke Nadal in the final game, he served for the championship point, with a smashing inside-out forehand. He had by then successfully defended his title, ripped his t-shirt off and clenched his biceps. During the prolonged, excruciating award ceremony, the players were offered a pair of chairs halfway after both had gone down to their knees.

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