The most interesting matches in Pavels career in my subjective view:
Wimbledon 1997, 2R: R.Krajicek 6-3 4-6 7-6(4) 3-6 3-6
Pavel was hung between Challengers and ATP tournaments then, Krajicek was a defending champion, so 2-1 up in sets for the Romanian in his first match on a big arena was really surprising, however Pavel hadn't any chance to win the match
Santiago 1997, 1R: J.Burillo 4-6 7-6(8) 6-7(8)
The scoreline suggest Pavel saved at least one MP in the second set, and wasted at least one MP in the third, what's very unusual in tennis matches. The match lasted 2 hours 44 minutes, Pavel didn't convert any of 18 break points in the match.
Australian Open 1999, 4R: Y.Kafelnikov 3-6 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 6-3 4-6
Kafelnikov won Aussie Open that year, lost two sets only against the Romanian. It was the first time when I saw Pavel's whole match and I was impressed by his technical level. Pavel was two points away from winning second set, was 3:5 down in the tie-break of the third set. In the fifth set Pavel was 2:5 down but later two points away to level up at 5 games a piece.
Syndey - Olympics 2000, 1R: M.Norman 7-6(1) 3-6 8-10
Norman along with Kuerten was then the best player in the world... The Swede was serving to win first set at 5:4, in the third set was 4:2 up but later saved match point with an ace at 4:5. The match lasted 2 hours 45 minutes... Pavel as the only tennis player appearanced at 4 Olympic Games (1992, 96, 00, 04), always lost 1st round match.
Montreal 2001, F: P.Rafter 7-6(3) 2-6 6-3
The highlight of Pavel's career. In the QF beat Roddick, in the SF Haas... Pavel between 2nd set of the first round (against Malisse) and 2nd set of the final, didn't lose a service game (won 46 in a row, saving 16 break points)... Against Malisse had the same scolerline as in the final
It was second ATP final between Pavel and Rafter, two years earlier Pavel lost to the Australian the final in s'Hertogenbosch 6-3 6-7 4-6 despite a match point at 7:6* in the tie-break
Miami 2002, 3R: T.Haas 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 7-6(6)
3 hours 3 minutes, no breaks of serve, Pavel in both winning tie-breaks was 4:6 down. It was his 133th tournament and according to my stats, first win after saving match point, so very late for this amount of tournaments. Pavel in his career on the main level played three all-tie-break matches, and won all (another two against Karlovic and Carraz).
Roland Garros 2002, QF: A.Corretja 6-7(5) 5-7 5-7
Absolutely extraordinary history is linked with that match. Had been suspended due to darkness on Tuesday (at 5:4* for Pavel in the 3rd set) and wasn't possible to contiunate it on Wednesday because of rain, Pavel despite playing one of the most important matches of his life, decided to go to Germany where his wife the same day gave birth of their second child. Pavel came back to Paris on Thursdays' morning (5 a.m.), slept only three hours on a couch in the players' lounge and enter the court to lose quickly three games to Corretja, and the match! More about this match.
Metz 2003, 1R: D.Hrbaty 4-6 6-4 7-6(3)
In 2003 Pavel had been struggling with right wrist and back injuries. It was his first victory after 9 defeats in a row within 11 months! Hrbaty was leading 4:1 in the third, had MP at 5:4*. A few weeks later Pavel notched one of three best results in tennis career, advancing to the final in Paris.
Davis Cup 2006, 1R: A.Roddick 6-7(2) 2-6 7-6(8) 6-2 6-4
The match lasted 3 hours 43 minutes. 32 year-old Pavel saved MP on return at 6:7 in the tie-break! Earlier in the tie-break, Roddick was 3:0* up. In the fifth set Pavel led 5:1*, later at 5:4 Roddick was two points away to level up. "Winning from 2-0 down, this is going to go in my record for sure, and in my good memories." said Pavel who won second time from 0-2 down (previously against J.Novak at the Australian Open '04).
US Open 2006, 1R: A.Agassi 7-6(4) 6-7(8) 6-7(6) 2-6
That match, playing in night session on Arthur Ashe stadium had amazing tenision because if Pavel won, it would have been Agassi's last match in a professional tournament. The Romanian had setpoint at 7:6 in the second tie-break, and led 4:0 in the third set. At 4:3 "won" point, a chair-umpire announced "5:3" but Agassi took a winning challenge and moment later was 4:4.
Davis Cup 2007, playoffs: T.Suzuki 6-7(6) 6-7(1) 6-1 6-4 6-4
Third and last comeback from 0-2 down, this time after the longest singles match in Pavel's career. Pavel wasted two setpoints at *5:4 in the second set but didn't collapse after two bad luck sets, and won another three easily and helped his native country back into 2008 Davis Cup World Group . 24-19 in aces for Pavel.
Wimbledon 2009, 2R: Pavel/H.Tecau def. E.Butorac/S.Lipsky 6-4 6-7(9) 3-6 6-4 15-13
Semi-retired Pavel, along with his compatriot Tecau saved 6 mini-match points in the final set to clinch the match with the only break of the final set in the 28th game... the match lasted 4 hours 2 minutes; the Romanian duo lost in the next round after 4 hours 1 minute (!) to "the tower pair" D.Norman/W.Moodie, 12-14 in the 5th set - Pavel finished the match with two double faults in a row (!) and broke the racquet with anger. He didn't play in singles a longer fifth set than 6-4 in 18 five-set matches...