Fans were treated to plenty of high quality tennis throughout the ATP World Tour 2008 season. ATPWorldTour.com breaks down five of the best matches.
No. 5 – Andy Murray (GBR) d Richard Gasquet (FRA), Wimbledon fourth round, 57 36 76(3) 62 64
Andy Murray became only the fourth British man to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals in the Open Era, joining Roger Taylor, Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman, by fighting back from two sets down to defeat Richard Gasquet 5-7, 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-2, 6-4 in a classic encounter. Gasquet had an opportunity to serve out the match after breaking the Scot to go up 5-4 in the third set, but then dropped serve with a double-fault. "It's the best support I've ever had in a match in my life," said Murray. "I've never been in the situation Gasquet was in, but I'm sure it was tough for him at the end. It's an awesome feeling to have that sort of support."
No. 4 – Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) d Marcos Baghdatis (CYP), Australian Open third round, 46 75 75 67(4) 63
After a very late finish to the day session (largely due to Roger Federer's 10-8 fifth set win over Janko Tipsarevic), tournament organizers contemplated moving or postponing Venus Williams's night match. But, in the end, Hewitt and Baghdatis went on according to the order of play, but at a much, much later time than expected. They started at 11.47 pm Saturday and ended at 4.34 am Sunday. In the latest match in Grand Slam history, former World No. 1 and 2005 finalist Lleyton Hewitt needed five match points before defeating 2006 runner-up Baghdatis 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-3. Baghdatis hit 73 winners, including 28 aces, but it wasn't enough.
No. 3 – Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Carlos Moya (ESP), Chennai Open semifinals, 67(3) 76(8) 76(1)
Carlos Moya produced a vintage performance against his former protégé Rafael Nadal in an epic four-hour battle, which saw Nadal save four match points in the second set tie-break en route to a 6-7(3), 7-6(8), 7-6(1) win. The match was the longest three-set match since 1993 when Andrei Cherkasov defeated Andrea Gaudenzi in the quarterfinals of Tel Aviv. It was Nadal’s fifth win in seven meetings over former World No. 1 Moya, but the battle left him so exhausted that against Mikhail Youzhny he won just one game. “I wasn’t playing the real Rafael Nadal today,” said Youzhny, after a 6-0, 6-1 victory in 57 minutes.
No. 2 – Andy Murray (GBR) d Roger Federer (SUI), Tennis Masters Cup Round Robin, 46 76(3) 75
Andy Murray did not have to beat Roger Federer to secure his place in the Tennis Masters Cup semifinals, but the first Briton to win five titles in the Open Era rose to the challenge. Murray fought back from a one-set deficit to defeat four-time champion Federer 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in a shade over three hours. Federer received treatment for a back injury and had looked resigned at 3-0 down in the third set, but the Swiss began to unnerve Murray. Federer heroically saved seven match points, two of them with aces, to stay in the match, but as his legs started to stiffen Murray was able to clinch a famous victory.
No. 1 – Rafael Nadal (ESP) d Roger Federer (SUI), Wimbledon final, 64 64 67(5) 67(8) 97
Roger Federer was the king of SW19, with a 65-match unbeaten streak on grass. He was looking to clinch his sixth successive Wimbledon crown, but for the third year running he faced Nadal – a player, who was reaching the height of his powers. In one of the greatest matches of all time, Nadal eventually triumphed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 in a final, twice interrupted by rain, at 9:15 p.m. BST. In dethroning Federer, Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to clinch the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double. He was also the first Spanish male since Manolo Santana in 1966 to lift the coverted trophy.