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View Full Version : Best match of ALL-TIME? (Poll included!)


Matt-TennisFan24
Dec 28th, 2012, 03:09 AM
Here's the 3rd category of our All-Time poll. Time to decide the best match ever!

By the way, I take the chance to say that unanimously, the winner of the Best Serve of All-Time category is Serena Williams (16 nominations to 0 in the "nominations thread") and the winner of the Best Volleys of All-Time category is Martina Navratilova (15 nominations to 1).

Remember that I had made a thread asking for people to nominate their options. So, if you think an "obvious" option is missing, then I'm sorry. (P.S: If you think the Best Backhand poll should be done again including Seles or Sharapova, please specify it in the thread. If 10 people say so, we'll do it again).

Here are the highlights of the chosen matches:

1992 Roland Garros Final: Monica Seles vs Steffi Graf

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2005 Wimbledon Final: Venus Williams vs Lindsay Davenport

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1991 US Open Semi-Final: Monica Seles vs Jennifer Capriati

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1985 Roland Garros Final: Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova

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2012 US Open Final: Serena Williams vs Victoria Azarenka

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2003 US Open Semi-Final: Justine Henin vs Jennifer Capriati

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2007 US Open Semi-Final: Justine Henin vs Venus Williams

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2008 Wimbledon Final: Venus Williams vs Serena Williams

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2004 Wimbledon Final: Maria Sharapova vs Serena Williams

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2012 Olympics Final: Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova

http://www.youmaker.com/video/svb5-00a01745a35d4174ac2c2e49a6c59c46001.html.Serena-Williams-wins-Maria-Sharapova-Olympics-London-2012-final.html

Side-Note: Please don't vote for the 2012 Olympics Final or the 2004 Wimbledon Final UNLESS you really think it was the best match ever. Both options were nominated, but in my opinion, none of them were great matches. Please don't make this a Serena-Maria fans war :lol:

Stonerpova
Dec 28th, 2012, 04:37 AM
Seles/Graf 92 without a doubt. Epic, epic stuff. Venus/Davenport is a close second.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Dec 28th, 2012, 04:55 AM
Seles/Graf 92 without a doubt. Epic, epic stuff. Venus/Davenport is a close second.

It's my favorite match ever, it's the BEST. I love re-watching it on youtube. EPIC Battle

bobito
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:24 AM
This wasn't called the "Match of the Century" for nothing.

Suzanne Lenglen def Helen Wills 6-3 8-6, Cannes 1926

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The "Match of the Century"
"After 1923, demand for Lenglen and Wills to play each other kept growing. They finally met in the final of a tourney at the Carlton Club in Cannes, France, on February 16, 1926. There were 4000 spectators.

In the fourth game Lenglen seized control of the 1st set. She exchanged long backhand drives with Wills, staying behind the baseline on her backhand side, clearly tempting her to go for the easy winner down the forehand side. But Helen Wills did not go for those winners. She hit ball after ball deep to Lenglen's backhand... one newsman wrote that Helen Wills played as though she believed Suzanne Lenglen's weakness was her backhand. It wasn't... Lenglen took... a 3-2 lead.

Lenglen won the 1st set 6-3. Between sets she had "two deep swallows" from her "emergency kit"--said to be iced cognac. "There was a noticably new spring in her walk when she returned to the baseline to receive Helen's serve."

Wills served the opening game of the second set. She sliced her first service wide to Lenglen's forehand, drew the Maid Marvel off the court, then moved in quickly and took the return with a winning volley to the backhand side. The crowd loved it. She took three more points in rapid succession and without much difficulty. The last point of the game was nearly unbelievable: a beautiful topped backhand shot straight down the line. The shot completely outwitted Lenglen and left her standing flatfooted in the backcourt. Wills had raised the level of play once again.

After 7 games the score stood at Wills 4, Lenglen 3. Before serving the eighth game, Suzanne Lenglen took another gulp from her emergency kit. Then she served and won the first point. But Helen Wills again came back and took two points and the lead. The fourth point of the game involved an exceptionally long rally. Then Lenglen returned one of Will's long forehand shots with a powerful forehand angled return. Helen moved for the ball near the juncture of the service line and the sideline. But then she held back on her swing and watched the ball bound well outside. Newsman Don Skene, sitting near where the ball came down, watched it hit wide by "three inches at least." Associated Press correspondent Ferdinand Tuohy also had no doubt about the ball. "It struck far outside," he wrote.

Cyril Tolley, the line judge, remained silent. Helen Wills stood for a moment near where the ball went down, listening for the call. Then, in an extremely rare gesture, she abandoned her silence and her serenity and her poker-faced look. In a loud and clear voice, almost a desperate shout that betrayed her anger, she demanded of Tolley, "What did you call that ball?" "Inside," he responded. "The shot was good!" Fred Moody, Helen's regular Riviera escort, was sitting near the line too, and he knew that the ball was out. He had no doubts at all. "The ball was out and Helen was robbed."

In the eleventh game Lenglen broke Wills service at 30 and appeared to be in control of the match. She now led 6-5 with her own service coming. Then, with renewed confidence she jumped out to a 40-15 lead and double match point in the twelfth game. She hit her first match point down the middle to Wills's backhand and then stayed back for the return. There were several long exchanges as Helen tried pull Suzanne into the forehand corner with some powerful crosscourt blasts. Eventually, Wills sent a sizzling drive deep into that corner. Lenglen moved over for the return, hesitated, and then stopped. Then she heard a wonderful wonderful wonderful sound as a loud and clear voice roared "Ouuuut!" Suzanne Lenglen flung the remaining two tennis balls she held high into the sky and skipped quickly to the net, a smile of relief on her face, her right hand extended. Helen Wills met her at the net and grasped her hand. The tennis court was almost instantly engulfed by a mob.

Meanwhile, from the far end of the court Lord Charles Hope frantically fought his way through the crowd, swimming through the shouting celebrants to the umpire's chair. When he was within a few feet of Commander Hillyard, he shouted out a shocking statement. "The shot was good!" he said. "I didn't call it out!" Once Hillyard was certain that he had heard Hope right, he turned apologetically to Suzanne. "The match is not over," he said cautiously. "That ball was good." Suzanne Lenglen gave the umpire a stunned look as the remark registered. The she responded in a calm and deliberately measured tone, "Then we must go on." Helen Wills saved the second match point and brought the game to deuce. Then with her hard drives and sharp crisp angles she took two more points and the twelfth game. Six to six.

Suzanne Lenglen [now leading 7-6] served cautiously in the fourteenth game, placing each service with meticulous care... Finally, with one of her pretty placements she arrived once more at match point. This was fifteen minutes after she believed she had won the match. She served to Wills's backhand once again and took the strong return with her forehand, punching over a drop shot just to the left of the center line. Wills responded wtih a running desperate save that was high over the net. Too high... Lenglen... caught it near the service line, shoulder high and slapped it back at an angle across the court for a winner. The match was over."

http://tennis.quickfound.net/history/suzanne_lenglen_helen_wills.html

Sam L
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:35 AM
Suzanne Lenglen def Helen Wills 6-3 8-6, Cannes 1926

8HSsH7V3Ml8

The "Match of the Century"
"After 1923, demand for Lenglen and Wills to play each other kept growing. They finally met in the final of a tourney at the Carlton Club in Cannes, France, on February 16, 1926. There were 4000 spectators.

In the fourth game Lenglen seized control of the 1st set. She exchanged long backhand drives with Wills, staying behind the baseline on her backhand side, clearly tempting her to go for the easy winner down the forehand side. But Helen Wills did not go for those winners. She hit ball after ball deep to Lenglen's backhand... one newsman wrote that Helen Wills played as though she believed Suzanne Lenglen's weakness was her backhand. It wasn't... Lenglen took... a 3-2 lead.

Lenglen won the 1st set 6-3. Between sets she had "two deep swallows" from her "emergency kit"--said to be iced cognac. "There was a noticably new spring in her walk when she returned to the baseline to receive Helen's serve."

Wills served the opening game of the second set. She sliced her first service wide to Lenglen's forehand, drew the Maid Marvel off the court, then moved in quickly and took the return with a winning volley to the backhand side. The crowd loved it. She took three more points in rapid succession and without much difficulty. The last point of the game was nearly unbelievable: a beautiful topped backhand shot straight down the line. The shot completely outwitted Lenglen and left her standing flatfooted in the backcourt. Wills had raised the level of play once again.

After 7 games the score stood at Wills 4, Lenglen 3. Before serving the eighth game, Suzanne Lenglen took another gulp from her emergency kit. Then she served and won the first point. But Helen Wills again came back and took two points and the lead. The fourth point of the game involved an exceptionally long rally. Then Lenglen returned one of Will's long forehand shots with a powerful forehand angled return. Helen moved for the ball near the juncture of the service line and the sideline. But then she held back on her swing and watched the ball bound well outside. Newsman Don Skene, sitting near where the ball came down, watched it hit wide by "three inches at least." Associated Press correspondent Ferdinand Tuohy also had no doubt about the ball. "It struck far outside," he wrote.

Cyril Tolley, the line judge, remained silent. Helen Wills stood for a moment near where the ball went down, listening for the call. Then, in an extremely rare gesture, she abandoned her silence and her serenity and her poker-faced look. In a loud and clear voice, almost a desperate shout that betrayed her anger, she demanded of Tolley, "What did you call that ball?" "Inside," he responded. "The shot was good!" Fred Moody, Helen's regular Riviera escort, was sitting near the line too, and he knew that the ball was out. He had no doubts at all. "The ball was out and Helen was robbed."

In the eleventh game Lenglen broke Wills service at 30 and appeared to be in control of the match. She now led 6-5 with her own service coming. Then, with renewed confidence she jumped out to a 40-15 lead and double match point in the twelfth game. She hit her first match point down the middle to Wills's backhand and then stayed back for the return. There were several long exchanges as Helen tried pull Suzanne into the forehand corner with some powerful crosscourt blasts. Eventually, Wills sent a sizzling drive deep into that corner. Lenglen moved over for the return, hesitated, and then stopped. Then she heard a wonderful wonderful wonderful sound as a loud and clear voice roared "Ouuuut!" Suzanne Lenglen flung the remaining two tennis balls she held high into the sky and skipped quickly to the net, a smile of relief on her face, her right hand extended. Helen Wills met her at the net and grasped her hand. The tennis court was almost instantly engulfed by a mob.

Meanwhile, from the far end of the court Lord Charles Hope frantically fought his way through the crowd, swimming through the shouting celebrants to the umpire's chair. When he was within a few feet of Commander Hillyard, he shouted out a shocking statement. "The shot was good!" he said. "I didn't call it out!" Once Hillyard was certain that he had heard Hope right, he turned apologetically to Suzanne. "The match is not over," he said cautiously. "That ball was good." Suzanne Lenglen gave the umpire a stunned look as the remark registered. The she responded in a calm and deliberately measured tone, "Then we must go on." Helen Wills saved the second match point and brought the game to deuce. Then with her hard drives and sharp crisp angles she took two more points and the twelfth game. Six to six.

Suzanne Lenglen [now leading 7-6] served cautiously in the fourteenth game, placing each service with meticulous care... Finally, with one of her pretty placements she arrived once more at match point. This was fifteen minutes after she believed she had won the match. She served to Wills's backhand once again and took the strong return with her forehand, punching over a drop shot just to the left of the center line. Wills responded wtih a running desperate save that was high over the net. Too high... Lenglen... caught it near the service line, shoulder high and slapped it back at an angle across the court for a winner. The match was over."

http://tennis.quickfound.net/history/suzanne_lenglen_helen_wills.html
:lol: Have you seen the whole match?

Charlatan
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:36 AM
A longer highlight :)

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bobito
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:47 AM
:lol: Have you seen the whole match?

I'm not quite that old :lol: I just wanted to point out that the best match of "All Time" is not restricted to those that people can remember. Lenglen v Wills is still a leading contender, not least because it was the only time these first two greats of women's tennis played each other.

Sam L
Dec 28th, 2012, 05:51 AM
I'm not quite that old :lol: I just wanted to point out that the best match of "All Time" is not restricted to those that people can remember. Lenglen v Wills is still a leading contender, not least because it was the only time these first two greats of women's tennis played each other.
From what I've read I would've picked Lenglen v Lambert Chambers '19 Wimbledon final. It seemed to be a higher quality match with two opposing styles of play. This match was much more hyped up though.

kingjameo
Dec 28th, 2012, 07:55 AM
it was the only time these first two greats of women's tennis played each other.http://www.wengmj.com/a128.jpg

Sombrerero loco
Dec 28th, 2012, 08:28 AM
no Legend´s matches on the poll? next

Steadyniacki
Dec 28th, 2012, 08:57 AM
The greatest match of all time in mind is Schiavone def Kuznetsova AO 11. I'll say it time and time again.

GAGAlady
Dec 28th, 2012, 09:21 AM
CAPRIATI vs henin was for me the best

Andy.
Dec 28th, 2012, 10:34 AM
Wimbledon final 2005.

Chrissie-fan
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:00 AM
I'm not quite that old :lol: I just wanted to point out that the best match of "All Time" is not restricted to those that people can remember. Lenglen v Wills is still a leading contender, not least because it was the only time these first two greats of women's tennis played each other.
True, but at TF 'all time' usually means 'the last ten years.' If ten yeas from now there's another poll like this it will be dominated by matches from 2013-2022. That's not a criticism because it's normal that people vote for matches that they have seen. On the other hand it's also a reason to take the results with a grain of salt.

petkoan
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:01 AM
It was voted by thousands and thousands of people worldwide: 1999 French Open Final - Graf def. Hingis.
Next.

Cosmic Voices
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:38 AM
Nice trolling including the 2012 Olympics match in the poll, even knowing Serena's stunning performance at Charleston vs Stosur, or Masha's incredible 3 setter at Stuttgart against the same opponent :spit:


Anyway, had to vote for 1992 Roland Garros

Grigorpova
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:47 AM
Whenever I watch Wimbledon 08 final & the 2007 USO semi-final I am amazed, definitely them for me.

JarkaFish
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:55 AM
The highlights for the USO SF between Venus and Henin are just too yummy. Gets my heart beating everytime.

s_j
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:07 PM
If you were going to nominate any Serena v Maria match, surely it should have been AO SF 2005? Hell, even their 04 YEC Final match. Both fair more competitive than the ones suggested in the poll.

Alejandrawrrr
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:13 PM
Wimbledon 04 or Olympics 12 are so far from being in contention that it's not even funny. I do think 2000 USO SF or 2005 AO SF would be better choices. Or "Hard to say" :oh: 2005 Wimbledon final, featuring two hard hitting giants is so different from 2003 US SF for instance, but I do love both so it's tough to compare them.

Kon[GS]illiams
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:29 PM
I voted for Venus vs Lindsay Wim 2005

and want to prefer Serena vs Dementieva Wimbledon 2009 match

IMO this match should be on the list too.

Layabout
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:35 PM
2005 Wimby final best match I've seen happening live

The Dawntreader
Dec 28th, 2012, 02:53 PM
2004 Wimbledon final? Why?

AlwaysGraf
Dec 28th, 2012, 04:00 PM
95 wimbledon final graf bt sanchez
99 french final graf bt hingis
96 french graf bt sanchez

where are these?

Smitten
Dec 28th, 2012, 04:16 PM
No Legend?

Stonerpova
Dec 28th, 2012, 06:08 PM
2004 Wimbledon final? Why?

There was another thread where people posted the best forehand, best backhand, best server, best volleyer, and best match. That explains why the 04 Wimbledon final and the Olympics final are in this poll and why Azarenka is in the poll for greatest backhands of all time.

doomsday
Dec 28th, 2012, 06:15 PM
Voted Sharapova def Serena.

But where the hell is the YEC FINAL between Henin and Maria ?? Easily the best YEC final EVEEEER :worship:

The Dawntreader
Dec 28th, 2012, 06:38 PM
There was another thread where people posted the best forehand, best backhand, best server, best volleyer, and best match. That explains why the 04 Wimbledon final and the Olympics final are in this poll and why Azarenka is in the poll for greatest backhands of all time.

Should've named the poll; 'TF posters with the worst taste in everything'

Sund7101
Dec 28th, 2012, 07:54 PM
1985 or 1992 French Open Finals. Two of the greatest rivalries ever in women's tennis and high quality tennis in both.

Stonerpova
Dec 28th, 2012, 07:59 PM
Should've named the poll; 'TF posters with the worst taste in everything'

The last two options are trolling, butt the fact that someone picked this year's US Open final - and that they were most likely serious - slays me :lol:

1985 or 1992 French Open Finals. Two of the greatest rivalries ever in women's tennis and high quality tennis in both.

The 1985 final is another great one. I've watched a lot of Evert/Navratilova matches and that one is head and shoulders above anything else they produced.

powerpuff27
Dec 28th, 2012, 08:35 PM
Amazing matches by 2 players playing at a historic level in a match full of drama, competiveness, struggle, and quality, and singular exceptional performances that rank as some of the best singular performances ever (even if the opponent happened to play decent or even well at the hands of the massacre) should be put in 2 different categories not in the same one.

Best match- either Henin vs Capriati at the 2003 U.S Open or Graf vs Seles at the 1992 French Open

Best singular performance- Serena Williams at 2012 Olympics, pretty much every match, or Serena in the 2007 Australian Open final. Love her or hate her, no women in history can compete with that level of power tennis.

Seles vs Graf at the 1993 Australian Open is a good choice as it could be a candidate for both best match and best singular performance, in that it was a match of two greats playing at an exceptionally high level while retaining a certain element of competitiveness and uncertainty to the end despite Graf managing only 5 games in the last 2 sets, while also being somewhat of a clinic by Seles which in hindsight was more of a clinic than an uber competitive match due to the 5 games only in the last 2 sets won by Graf, lol! Plus it is rare to see someone as great as Steffi Graf play as well as she did the last 2 sets and still be dismembered as badly as she was in the last 2 sets of that match. Sharapova obviously is not at the level of Graf, and in her beatdowns of Serena while often playing reasonably well and still being thumped by Serena massive game, was probably never playing an exceptional match even for her standards like Graf was that day while still being throttled by Seles in the latter half.

Some other candidates for best singular performances would be Graf vs Seles in the 1992 Wimbledon final, and the last 2 sets vs Navratilova of the 1988 Wimbledon final. Also Henin vs Serena at the 2007 U.S Open, rarely seen Serena in any shape so flat out belted off the court, I think Henin had almost twice the number of clean winners as her that day. Henin vs Venus at that same U.S Open would be another candidate for best match.

Toxic
Dec 28th, 2012, 09:33 PM
2012 Olympics F - Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 :oh:

Mr.Sharapova
Dec 28th, 2012, 10:04 PM
Justine vs Capriati USO 2003 for me :worship:. That match was insane, the way Henin fought and the drama was :drool:.

ZeroSumGame
Dec 28th, 2012, 11:24 PM
Venus Williams v. Lindsay Davenport 2005 Wimbledon [F] was an instant classic, very very high quality match ...both IMO were winners that day although Vee walked away with the Venus Rosewater Dish :worship::worship::worship::worship:

traralgon
Jan 27th, 2013, 03:28 PM
I liked Jankovic-Paszek AO 2008 first round

BCP
Jan 28th, 2013, 09:18 AM
The last two options are trolling, butt the fact that someone picked this year's US Open final - and that they were most likely serious - slays me :lol:



The 1985 final is another great one. I've watched a lot of Evert/Navratilova matches and that one is head and shoulders above anything else they produced.


Agree that the 85 French Final was a classic, and many fans believe that this is the best Evert/Navratilova match. However, not sure whether you have seen the 1979 Eastbourne F which Evert won 7-5, 5-7, 13-11. It is an incredible match, where both girls hit that ball so hard and accurately with those wood racquets.

Here's a link to the highlights:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qfkm6dk1AMQ

This gets my vote as the greatest women's match. I wish it had been the match that decided the Wimbledon Final that year, but Chris just couldn't bring it at Wimbledon.

renstar
Jan 28th, 2013, 02:01 PM
The op has to be a Williams fan to put any Williams sisters final in the list at all, they were the most boring of tedious affairs.

Olórin
Jan 28th, 2013, 02:16 PM
The op has to be a Williams fan to put any Williams sisters final in the list at all, they were the most boring of tedious affairs.

Not really. The 2003 AO Final was a high quality and compelling affair and many pundits with more knowledge of the game than you rate the Wimbledon Final 2008 as an excellent match.

Neither is candidate for greatest match of all time of course, but neither are most Grand Slam Finals.

Off the top of my head the only Slam Finals I'd rate as candidates for best match ever are:
2005 Wimbledon Final
1996 French Open Final
1992 French Open Final
1987 French Open Final (imo, never heard anyone else rate this match)
1985 French Open Final
1981 Australian Open Final
1976 Wimbledon Final
1974 US Open Final
1973 US Open Final
1970 Wimbledon Final
I haven't seen any full matches earlier than that to make a judgement.

Since the 1990's the best matches at the slams have invariable come at the QF or SF stages and of course we are getting more "classic" early round matches than ever before.

alfonsojose
Jan 28th, 2013, 02:19 PM
It was voted by thousands and thousands of people worldwide: 1999 French Open Final - Graf def. Hingis.
Next.

This.