The season 2019 ended with Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic sharing 2 Grand Slams each. However, the journey of each Grand Slam was far from straight forward with some extremely tight contests giving the crowd a return for their money. It has been a hard choice but we at SportsCrunch have picked up 1 best match in each of the Grand Slams this year.
Australian Open: Murray vs Bautista Agut 1st Round
It is very rare to see a 1st round match of this kind in terms of intensity, quality and attention. Andy Murray had emotionally announced that Australian Open 2019 could be his last professional tournament as he was contemplating retirement. The Brit faced both an in-form Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut as well as his tryst with fitness.
The match was expected to be close and it turned out to be an epic. Bautista took the 1st rwo sets with relative ease. Murray a past Australian Open finalist still had a lot of stomach for a fight. He won the next 2 sets in tie breaker and looked to carry momentum for a historic comeback. The 5th set however saw Murray exhausted and Bautista won it 6-2. The match is with argument one of the best matches of 2019 and one of the best 1st round matches ever played.
The battle of the heavyweights in Roland Garros 2019 turned out to be a marathon contest. Thiem the 2018 French Open finalist was up against Novak Djokovic who had won last 3 slams. The Austrian who has been the 2nd best clay court player in last 3 years took the 1st set 6-2 to draw first blood. The 2nd set would see Novak coming back and leveling the match.
The contest was frequently interrupted due to rain and players had to leave the court. The last 3 sets saw the match assuming battle like slugfest. The 3rd set went to the Austrian who took it 7-5 with Djokovic repeating the same stat in his favour to take the 4th set and level the match. It was the 5th set which would decide the finalist to face Nadal. A 6-6 the Djokovic serve had few nervous moments and the game had frequent deuce score before Thiem would break and take the match. The Austrian was through to the final and the World Number to the exit door.
The 2019 Wimbledon final proved to be one of the best finals held at the Centre Court of the All England Lawn Tennis Club. The World Number 1 and 2018 Champion Novak Djokovic was up against the most prolific Champion at Wimbledon Roger Federer. The match started in an expected fashion with the 1st set going all the way to the tie breaker. Djokovic dominated the tie-break and took the early lead. Federer came back to dominate the 2nd set winning it 6-1.
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The 3rd set would again go to the tie-break and again the Serb was the better player when it mattered and won the 3rd set. Federer rallied himself back in the 4th set winning it 6-4. The 5th was full of drama, mystery and disappointments. Federer broke the Djokovic serve and brought himself 3 match points on his own serve. The 8 time Wimbledon champion however was overrun by the situation surrendering the match points as well as the game.
Djokovic would come back and the match was to be decided by Wimbledon’s newly introduced tie-breaker at 12-12. In the 3rd tie-breaker of the match also it was the Serb who raised his level. He made full use of Federer’s little down slip and won the match taking his Wimbledon total to 5 and Grand Slam tally to 16.
Domination, drama, shock, comeback and ecstasy are the 5 world fit to describe the US Open 2019 final. Rafa Nadal was marching towards his 19th Grand Slam success which would take him just one shy of his great rival Roger Federer’s record of 20 Slams. On the other side was a raging force of nature in Russia’s Daniil Medvedev who had just dominated the US hard court swing.
The Spanisrd took the 1st set at 7-5 breaking the Medvedev serve at the closing stages of the set. The 2nd set would come with much more ease for Rafa at 6-3 and he now looked much more close to his 19th Grand Slam Championship. Nadal broke in the 3rd set and the match looked as a done affair. This was when Medvedev began to play much more freely. He got the break back and then broke the Nadal serve to take the set 7 games to 5.
Medvedev would again break at closing stages of the 4th set and thus brought the match to a surprising 5th set. Nadal appeared to be rattled by the intensity of his opponent but the veteran champion gathered himself and broke the Medvedev serve twice to serve for the match. The Russian would get one serve back but when serving for the match for a second time Nadal was able to halt the Medvedev storm and close the match giving himself the much emotional 19th Grand Slam success.