Who won Tennis Grand Slams in 2013?
Best Of 2013© AFP/Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in a classic five-setter at Wimbledon.
ATPWorldTour.com reviews the two best Grand Slam matches of the year.
2. Novak Djokovic d. Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-7(6), 6-3, Wimbledon Semi-finals
The longest Wimbledon semi-final in history featured a mammoth slugfest between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro. The Big Four had dominated the Grand Slams for nearly the past four years and the Argentine was ready to break up the elite quartet.
Having twisted his left ankle and hyper-extended his left knee in a third round victory over Grega Zemlja, a hobbled del Potro entered Centre Court with a point to prove in his first major semi-final since claiming the US Open title in 2009. The Tower of Tandil had struggled to make a splash at the Grand Slam level since undergoing season-ending wrist surgery three years ago, but on this day, after nearly five hours of pulsating tennis, he made a booming statement on the game’s grandest stage.
An encore of their thrilling Indian Wells semi-final from earlier in the year, won by del Potro, one of the more riveting rivalries of 2013 was kicked into high gear at the All England Club. While del Potro was seeking to become just the second Argentine finalist at Wimbledon (Nalbandian 2002), Djokovic was looking to avenge a straight-sets defeat on the same court as their bronze medal match from last year’s Summer Olympics.
Djokovic seemed to be firmly in control after capturing the third set tie-break and snatching an early break in the fourth. The fourth set was a majestic display of tennis, with each scorching del Potro forehand nearly leaving burn marks on the Centre Court grass and Djokovic defensive stabs that would have made an acrobat proud.
A scintillating shotmaking display would key a comeback by the Argentine, who valiantly broke back and forced another tie-break. Del Potro masterfully took charge of rallies in crucial moments, dictating with authority and effectively utilising his backhand down the line, as he did in their duel in the desert in Indian Wells. The Argentine summoned every last ounce of energy to deny Djokovic a pair of match points in the tie-break, defiantly obliterating forehands and diving for winners. He would reel off four consecutive points from down 4-6 to level the match at two sets apiece and bring the SW19 faithful to their feet.
Watch Match Highlights:
As del Potro’s energy level began to dip in the deciding set, however, Djokovic’s demeanor remained unchanged. As Stanislas Wawrinka experienced at the Australian Open, outlasting the Serb in a best-of-five setting requires Herculean stamina and fortitude, which del Potro struggled to attain. Djokovic would break for a 5-3 lead, eventually prevailing in four hours and 37 minutes.
“It was one of the best matches that I've been a part of, one of the most exciting definitely, ” said Djokovic, who hit 80 winners, including 22 aces. “I'm privileged to be a winner of this match. It was so close, they couldn't separate us. Every time he was in tough situations he came up with unbelievable shots. But that's why he's a Grand Slam champion and right at the top.
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