Tennissers met Grand Slam
ATP WORLD TOUR SEASON REVIEW
Best Of 2013© AFP/Getty Images. Images below are © Getty Images.Tommy Haas needed 13 match points to defeat John Isner in their third round encounter at Roland Garros.
ATPWorldTour.com reviews the Top 5 Grand Slam matches of the year, beginning with Nos. 5-3.
5. Tommy Haas d. John Isner 7-5, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-7(10), 10-8, Roland Garros third round
Tommy Haas needed four hours and 37 minutes and a Grand Slam record 13 match points to thwart a stern challenge from John Isner in the third round at Roland Garros. The Bullring was electric as Isner steadily began plotting a comeback from down two sets to none, seeking his second such win in three days. The American was sensationally clutch in the big moments, aggressively attacking Haas’s serve to deny match point after match point. He also turned in an impressive serving display of his own, firing 27 aces and 92 winners while powering through 20 of 23 break points faced.
Despite being down a break in the deciding set, following a marathon tie-break won by Isner 12-10, Haas remained calm and staved off the hard-charging 19th seed. A Roland Garros remembered for its inspirational performances from its elder statesmen, from Tommy Robredo reaching the quarter-finals after three consecutive comebacks to David Ferrer advancing to his first Grand Slam final, the 35 year old Haas demonstrated incredible fortitude and stamina.
The German would save a match point of his own and, as Isner’s body began to succumb to the rigours of over nine combined hours on court in consecutive matches, Haas made the deciding breakthrough in the 17th game of the fifth set.
Haas would improve to 21-20 in five-setters in his career and it would be Isner’s fifth straight five-set defeat at a Grand Slam. It was the second match of the year to feature a victory on a 13th match point, after Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol defeated Stanislas Wawrinka and Marco Chiudinelli 24-22 in a fifth set in the first round of Davis Cup World Group action.
Even more remarkably, Haas would show no ill-effects of his marathon battle with Isner in the fourth round, proceeding to rout Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 to advance to his first quarter-final at Roland Garros in his 12th appearance.
“It's crazy, ” said a relieved Haas. “It was a big roller coaster with not many thoughts in between. He had match point at 4-5, and somehow I saved that one. It went back and forth. It's definitely going to be one of the best matches to look back on, for sure.”
Watch Match Highlights:
4. Rafael Nadal d. Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, US Open Final
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met for an Open Era record 37th time as they squared off for the US Open crown. Djokovic entered Arthur Ashe Stadium on a chilly Monday evening with a point to prove, having dropped five of the previous six meetings with his Spanish rival. Nadal had claimed their two most recent encounters by the slimmest of margins, defeating Djokovic 9-7 in a fifth set at Roland Garros earlier in the year, and ousting the Serb in a third set tie-break in the Coupe Rogers semi-finals.
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