Over the many decades of professional tennis, we’ve seen some of the best tennis matches ever played. From long and grueling to heavyweight slugfests, here are the top five matches in history.
Tennis fans have been gifted with some incredible matches over the years. From heavyweight bouts to never-ending battles, the world’s best players have fought it out on the biggest stages. Some of the best matches in history were the longest, the most important, or the most grueling. Some redefined a player’s career, and some redefined an entire era of tennis.
These rankings are based off of many different factors, with stakes and how the match affected the sport being the two most important keys in ordering this list. Matches that have lesser stakes but are still incredible matches might be towards the bottom of the top five, whereas a high-stakes finals match would rank higher.
Two notable matches that will be left off this list are:
- Roger Federer’s 2009 Wimbledon victory over Andy Roddick
While this match was incredible, there are going to be two Wimbledon finals on this list already, and putting a third on the list, as deserving as it may be, wouldn’t be a good addition for variety. To include other events, I left this one off. This list could be filled with only Wimbledon matches (there’s a ton of great ones!) but to make it fair, I left it off. Honorable mention, indeed.
2. Don Budge defeats Gottfried Von Cramm at the 1937 Davis Cup
This is basically the tennis version of Miracle. A match headed by World War II tensions, American Budge and German Von Cramm faced off in a five-set thriller that ended in a 6-8, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 8-6 Budge victory (ah, the age before tiebreaks). I’m going to fault myself for recency bias here, however, I can’t be blamed. No one was alive 83 years ago!
This match deserves an honorable mention for its unimaginable comeback by Budge, who fought back from two sets to none down, as well as 4-1 in the fifth. It’s a match never to be forgotten and is worthy of it’s honorable mention spot.
(Fun fact: The German Davis Cup coach was American Bill Tilden. Interesting indeed).
With that out of the way, let’s break down the five best matches in tennis history!