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Let's discuss who had the best performance in a slam final? It may take account into the physical, mental and even tactical performance of a player. Do feel free to rank the players if there are more than 1.
 

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Stosur killing Serena at the 2011 USO comes to mind with her ensuing meltdown. Also an HM to last year's USO where again, Serena was outplayed in a final and had another meltdown.
 
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The best tennis I've ever seen Serena play was when she was near losing to Azarenka in Melbourne. She was hitting aces and serve return winners on almost every shot for a while.
If you mean which slam final both players were playing well, I'd say 2018 AO
If one player was dominating, like Serena at 2012 Olympics, then its Clijsters 2010 USO final
 

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Flawless Halep against Serena this year is worth mentioned. They all said after the semifinal, that Queen Serena is back and would demolish Halep. Halep was 4-0 up in the first set, hitting winners like crazy and overall she ended with just 2 or 3 UEs (that should be a record). 55 minutes...

Now for the past, I must check the finals played before. Certainly the Serena-Venus clashes on grass were insane.
 

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Must have been Serena or Kvitova.
 

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Kerber beating Serena in Australia 2016, she was after her maiden win, up against the greatest of all time on 21 slams chasing Graf's record, she mentally overcame that slamless barrier and phsyically outlasted the goat in 3 sets at the beginning of the year when players are at their freshest - all the more impressive as Serena had won 4 of the previous 5 slams and made the Semi in the other which she really should have won.

Garbine at the next slam, French open 2016, tactically she outplayed Serena with a clear game pan to push her back on the court as far as possible to reduce the impact of her power, she bullied her really, in her maiden win as well, pretty impressive especially considering how motivated Serena was after losing Australia, not winning enough FO's in the past, chasing the record and the fact she had never lost two grand slam finals in a row at that point.

Osaka US Open 2018, need I say more, how she othercame all of the theatrics and hysteria going on down the other end of the court along with the rude crowd, was beyond me, and at the age of 20, her first slam, a big shame it was ruined by to overcome that sort of adversity is seriously impressive, and served it out with an ace! showed huge mental strength that will never be forgotten.

Azarenka Australia 2013, beat Li Na in the final, defending her crown in a tough 3 setter against not just a player who lost the 2011 final and desperate to win, but she also played against the crowd who were as much Pro Li Na as they were Anti Vika after the trick she pulled against Sloane Stephens in the Semi, only RedFoo in that stadium was supporting her, RedFoo and his silly hair :lol:

Hard to put these in order but still.
 
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Kerber beating Serena in Australia 2016, she was after her maiden win, up against the greatest of all time on 21 slams chasing Graf's record, she mentally overcame that slamless barrier and phsyically outlasted the goat in 3 sets at the beginning of the year when players are at their freshest - all the more impressive as Serena had won 4 of the previous 5 slams and made the Semi in the other which she really should have won.

Garbine at the next slam, French open 2016, tactically she outplayed Serena with a clear game pan to push her back on the court as far as possible to reduce the impact of her power, she bullied her really, in her maiden win as well, pretty impressive especially considering how motivated Serena was after losing Australia, not winning enough FO's in the past, chasing the record and the fact she had never lost two grand slam finals in a row at that point.

Osaka US Open 2018, need I say more, how she othercame all of the theatrics and hysteria going on down the other end of the court along with the rude crowd, was beyond me, and at the age of 20, her first slam, a big shame it was ruined by to overcome that sort of adversity is seriously impressive, and served it out with an ace! showed huge mental strength that will never be forgotten.

Azarenka Australia 2013, beat Li Na in the final, defending her crown in a tough 3 setter against not just a player who lost the 2011 final and desperate to win, but she also played against the crowd who were as much Pro Li Na as they were Anti Vika after the trick she pulled against Sloane Stephens in the Semi, only RedFoo in that stadium was supporting her, RedFoo and his silly hair :lol:

Hard to put these in order but still.
What you're saying is true but has nothing to do with peak. Great performances given the circumstances but not peak.
 

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Sharapova beating the living shit out of Serena in Wimbledon 04. Serena is STILL mad.
 

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2007 AO Serena def. Sharapova
2019 W Halep def. Serena
2011 W Kvitova def. Sharapova
2014 W Kvitova def. Bouchard
2011 USO Stosur def. Serena
2016 AO Kerber def. Serena
2004 W Sharapova def. Serena

Serena at 2007 AO final still remains the best ever Slam final performance and among her top 3 best matches ever (along with her 2012 Olympics SF + F matches).

Petra's two Slam final performances were also glorious stuff.
 

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What you're saying is true but has nothing to do with peak. Great performances given the circumstances but not peak.

course they were peak performances for all the reasons stated, read the op, physically, mentally and tactically was the criteria.

If you just want to talk about trains and call that peak then ok, but Serena who has spent a whole career battering Sharapova and then routining her in the Oz final is not peak, neither is Kvitova beating down Bouchard, both of them were expected to win and were favourties with the bookies, whereas Kerber @ OZ 16, Muguruza @ FO 16, Osaka at US open 18 were all odds against, and in Kerber's case greater than 5/1 chance.

Though Stosur beating Serean at US 11 is a good mention
 

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The best tennis I've ever seen Serena play was when she was near losing to Azarenka in Melbourne. She was hitting aces and serve return winners on almost every shot for a while.
If you mean which slam final both players were playing well, I'd say 2018 AO
If one player was dominating, like Serena at 2012 Olympics, then its Clijsters 2010 USO final
My God, the complete and utter delusion is real.
 

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2005 W Venus def Davenport
2006 W Mauresmo def Henin
2007 AO Serena def Sharapova
2011 W Kvitova def Sharapova
2001 AO Capriati def Hingis
2001 F Capriati def Clijsters
2001 W Venus def Henin
 

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Graf 1999

Body in shambles and yet she had the physical and mental strength to beat Chucky in the final. Her body was totally down and she was even out of the rankings.... and yet she manged to win that Slam.
 
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