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Memorable Matches Of 2012

Matches Of The 2012

Raonic, Tipsarevic© AFP/Getty ImagesMilos Raonic and Janko Tipsarevic played a memorable Chennai final just seven days into the 2012 ATP World Tour season. reviews five storylines from the first quarter of the 2012 season. In the third instalment, we take a look at some of the best or memorable matches of the year. Also, vote for your favourite in our quick poll.

Aircel Chennai Open Final, Chennai, 8 January - Raonic d. Tipsarevic 67(4) 76(4) 76(4)
At the end of the first week, Milos Raonic and Janko Tipsarevic played a Chennai final of high intensity, quality and exceptional serving. Raonic picked up his second ATP World Tour title after he hit 35 aces in a hard-fought 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 7-6(4) victory in three hours and 14 minutes. "Guys like Milos are special players," said World No. 9 Tipsarevic afterwards. "It was a great game of tennis. Nobody knew till the end who would win." The 21-year-old Raonic won all 48 of his service games during the week. That hadn't happened since Roger Federer won the 2008 Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Twelve months previously, Raonic - then ranked World No. 156 - had left Chennai having won two qualifying matches and with $670 in prize money. Read Match Report

Federer, NadalAustralian Open Semi-finals, Melbourne, 26 January - Nadal d. Federer 67(5) 62 76(5) 64
Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer's 25-match winning streak in their 10th major championship meeting, with a 6-7(5), 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-4 win in three hours and 42 minutes. Nadal rallied from a 1-4 deficit to a tie-break in the first set, which Federer won after 56 minutes. Federer started the match stronger, but found it hard to maintain that level and inconsistencies let Nadal back in. Nadal won five straight games from 2-2 in the second set and from 5-2 to 0/1, 0/40 in the third, the Spaniard won 11 straight points. Nadal surged into a 6-1 tie-break lead and converted a break point opportunity at 4-4 in the fourth set, before clinching a place in his 15th Grand Slam championship final. Nadal produced a superhuman performance in scrambling up balls and hitting clean winners, that left Federer motionless. It was the pair's 27th meeting. Read Full Match Report | Watch Highlights | Read About Federer-Nadal Rivalry

Murray, DjokovicAustralian Open Semi-finals, Melbourne, 27 January - Djokovic d. Murray 63 36 67(4) 61 75
Andy Murray suffered yet more Grand Slam heartbreak against Novak Djokovic in an Australian Open semi-final that was testament to the force of will of both men. In 2011, Djokovic had dealt Murray a harsh straight-sets defeat in the Melbourne final, but one year on it was a different story. Murray stretched the World No. 1 to a dramatic fifth set, ultimately succumbing 6-3, 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-1, 7-5 in four hours and 50 minutes. "It was so close," said Djokovic. "Both of us believed that we could win, and that's how we played. It could have easily gone the other way. He was [a] couple of points away from winning the match, so I was lucky to go as a winner." After rallying from a 2-5 deficit in the fifth set, Murray held three break points on Djokovic’s serve in the 11th game. But he was denied by the resilient Serb who upped the ante to seal a memorable victory. Read Full Match Report | Watch Highlights

Djokovic, NadalAustralian Open Final, Melbourne, 29 January - Djokovic d. Nadal 57 64 62 67(5) 75
Tennis fans may have thought they'd seen the best match of the Australian Open in the semi-finals, but Novak Djokovic stepped up in the title match to produce another high drama clash, edging Rafael Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 in what was the longest men's Grand Slam championship final on record at five hours and 53 minutes. In a pulsating contest on Rod Laver Arena, Djokovic rallied from a 2-4 deficit in the fifth set to clinch his third Australian Open crown and defeat Nadal in their seventh final meeting in a row. Afterwards, Djokovic declared it to be the greatest win of his career, "I think [it] comes out on the top because the fact that we played almost six hours is incredible. I'm very proud just to be part of this history. I was very flattered to be playing in front of Rod Laver, and in front of 15,000 people that stayed until 1:30 a.m." Read Full Match Report | Watch Highlights | Read About Djokovic-Nadal Rivalry

IsnerDavis Cup first round, Switzerland vs. United States, Fribourg, 10 February - Isner d. Federer 46 63 76(4) 62
World No. 17 John Isner put Switzerland on the ropes with a stunning 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 win over No. 3-ranked Roger Federer in two hours and 39 minutes that gave United States a 2-0 lead at the end of day one in the Davis Cup first round tie. "It's the biggest win of my life," declared Isner, who ended Federer's 15-rubber Davis Cup singles winning streak. "I owe a lot to [our] captain, Jim Courier. He was on me in practise all week," said Isner. "He told me to do all the right things. The way I played today, that's how I need to play in all of my matches." It propelled Isner closer to the Top 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. Read Full Match Report | Watch Isner Interview | Watch Federer Interview

Isner, DjokovicBNP Paribas Open Semi-finals, Indian Wells, 17 March - Isner d. Djokovic 76(7) 36 76(5)
It was a landmark match for John Isner. By virtue of hitting a 135 miles per hour ace past Novak Djokovic, on his fourth match point, to complete a 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(5) win, Isner confirmed a place in the Top 10 for the first time when the latest South African Airways ATP Rankings were published on 19 March. To celebrate reaching his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final in 25 attempts, Isner threw his arms up and soaked in the applause. Later, he explained, "It's something that you don't experience every day. "I was just trying to take it all in." Isner had become the first American to beat a World No. 1 since James Blake defeated Federer at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Read Full Match Report | Watch Highlights

Federer, RoddickSony Ericsson Open Quarter-finals, Miami - Roddick d. Federer 76(4) 16 64
The odds were not in Andy Roddick's favour going into his third round clash with Roger Federer in the Sony Ericsson Open third round. There had been 21 defeats and just two victories for the American in their previous meetings, including heartbreak in the 2004, 2005 and 2009 Wimbledon finals. However, he overcame a poor run of form leading in to end Federer’s 16-match winning streak, 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4, in just over two hours with a scintillating performance at Crandon Park. "It was kind of a game of chess," said Roddick. "I stayed back on the returns, which is something I have not done with him often early on. I think he might have been a little bit surprised by it." Federer added, "He played aggressive and clutch served when he had to. It was his credit. For me, it was obviously a tough loss. The one service game where I got broken, he really goes for it and it all works out." Read Full Match Report | Watch Highlights

Monday: Isner - From Marathon Man To Dangerman
Tuesday: Djokovic - Still The Man To Beat 

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