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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

I was thinking about single matches that seem to turn a guys career, up OR down. That one match that really makes a difference in confidence and provides a platform for a guy to really soar.
Or, the opposite of that, one match that virtually destroys a guys confidence and they are never quite the same after that.

As for my fav, Johnny Mac, that match was very clear. Wimbledon 1981, defeating Borg and stopping his 6th straight title. At the ceremony, Mac's celebration was some what subdued out of respect for Borg, but from that point on, he believed he could beat anybody.
Mac went on from that match to 4 consecutive year end #1 rankings.

I think last year there was one such match for Murray, coming back from 2 sets down to Gasquet at Wimbledon. Murray's confidecne has soared since that match, and his ranking has moved from #11 to #3.

What are turning point matches for your favorites, or any player for that matter..

Discuss..

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 03:23 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

PHM losing the DC final rubber for France when 2 sets up to 0 against Youzhny. He won 2 tournaments late in 2002 and got his selection in the team on the back of that. We know what happened there, the fact was not that he lost for himself, it was in the DC final.

Federer, he had 2 turning points. First of all was his horrible show against Horna at RG 2003, where he made an orgy of errors against a solid player and crashed out in the 1st round, but winning his first Slam a few weeks later worked out well.

The other the DC loss in Australia leading Hewitt 2 sets to 0 and a break, after he went through that, he never lost to Hewitt again and the start of the dominance wasn't long after that.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 05:56 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

Yeah, the Hewitt debacle was key, I agree. Strange how a defeat can also be a turning point for something better...

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 05:59 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

Sampras - Edberg US open 1992
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:06 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

1981 US Open. Borg retired.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:08 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

Nadal playing and winning the 2004 Davis Cup final, he was ranked in the 50s at that time, then 2005 spoke for itself.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

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I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:11 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

I think a turning (UP) point for Federer's career was a match against Nalbandian at the Australian Open 2004. Before that match, Federer had been 1-5 against Nalbandian including 2 Grand Slam defeats. At the beginning of 2004 it looked like there were 4 players on a very similar level: Roddick, Federer, Ferrero and Nalbandian. Federer in AO '04 changed his tactics (for the first time was playing more on the baseline), beat Nalbandian, destroyed Ferrero in the semis and born as amazing champion which he has been until today. I'd say that against Nalbandian in Melbourne '04, Federer has discovered for himself the best way to play tennis adequate to his potential.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:20 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

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Originally Posted by Voo de Mar View Post
I think a turning (UP) point for Federer's career was a match against Nalbandian at the Australian Open 2004. Before that match, Federer had been 1-5 against Nalbandian including 2 Grand Slam defeats. At the beginning of 2004 it looked like there were 4 players on a very similar level: Roddick, Federer, Ferrero and Nalbandian. Federer in AO '04 changed his tactics (for the first time was playing more on the baseline), beat Nalbandian, destroyed Ferrero in the semis and born as amazing champion which he has been until today. I'd say that against Nalbandian in Melbourne '04, Federer has discovered for himself the best way to play tennis adequate to his potential.
I agree that overcoming Nalbandian on a big stage for the first time was key to to what was to come after, but I personally think the turning point was his TMC round robin match against Agassi in 2003 - he had never beaten the guy, saved MPs and won that match plus the final match.

He never looked back after that.

"If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won."
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

I'm surprised that Fed fans don't seem to think that knocking off Sampras in 01 was a turning point. Even though it didn't happen immediately, I thought he came away from that win with the belief that he really belonged on top.

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:27 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

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Originally Posted by infinityfed View Post
I agree that overcoming Nalbandian on a big stage for the first time was key to to what was to come after, but I personally think the turning point was his TMC round robin match against Agassi in 2003 - he had never beaten the guy, saved MPs and won that match plus the final match.
Maybe it was the most important match in terms of mental strength. If I remember correctly, Federer saved all match points against Agassi playing on the full risk. Maybe he learned then how to deal with TB pressure, and therefore his tie-break record overall is so extremely stunning.

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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:34 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

Murray's straight set win over Djokovic in Toronto was more crucial than the Gasquet win as it showed he could beat the best.

Djokovic's own turning point match was his first win over Nadal- 6-3 6-4 in Miami 07.

Roddick beating Federer in Montreal 03 as well, that enabled him to go on his run of winning the MS and the USO.

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:37 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

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Originally Posted by MacTheKnife View Post
I'm surprised that Fed fans don't seem to think that knocking off Sampras in 01 was a turning point. Even though it didn't happen immediately, I thought he came away from that win with the belief that he really belonged on top.
It was an important win, no doubt about it. Fed was asked about the match that he thought was the turning point in his career and he did mention that match. But for me the lull and inconsistency that followed after that big win is what makes me think otherwise. He had awful losses in the first rounds of Slams the following year when he was one of the favourites to win them. He was still a head case faltering against much lower ranked opponents until he got his act together late 2003.

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Maybe it was the most important match in terms of mental strength. If I remember correctly, Federer saved all match points against Agassi playing on the full risk. Maybe he learned then how to deal with TB pressure and his tie-break record overall is so extremely stunning.
Yes, it was a match where he held his nerve and delivered under pressure. One of the best FH's of the match saved for saving MP, and that shot on his own MP wasn't bad either.

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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:41 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

I don't know it may be too early to state this, but I think Soderling's turning point in a way is his win over Nadal in the French Open. He then went on to reach the final, r16 of Wimbledon and win Båstad. It still remains to be seen whether he can keep this consistency going, but there's no doubt that there is a spark to his confidence.

Verdasco's turning point was against Acasuso in DC. He may not have won a title yet this year, but he got to the semis in AO, got to the finals of another tournament and has been very consistent at the masters only losing to the top players.

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

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I don't know it may be too early to state this, but I think Soderling's turning point in a way is his win over Nadal in the French Open. He then went on to reach the final, r16 of Wimbledon and win Båstad. It still remains to be seen whether he can keep this consistency going, but there's no doubt that there is a spark to his confidence.

Verdasco's turning point was against Acasuso in DC. He may not have won a title yet this year, but he got to the semis in AO, got to the finals of another tournament and has been very consistent at the masters only losing to the top players.
Good point, and that is another aspect of this thread that I thought about, but didn't mention. What were the matches that we "thought" would be turning points, but turned out not to be.

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 07:00 PM
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Re: Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

This thread is about mental turning points, but I also think it's interesting to locate physical turning points (for the worse) in a player's career. For example, Kuerten's five-setter against Mirnyi in the USO 2001, is when he first started feeling his hip injury.

Coria's five-setter against Massu in the USO 2005, when he started showing massive problems with his serve.

Nalbandian's five-setter against Soderling in Davis Cup last year, when his hip problems aggravated.

These three examples show that even a win can mean a negative turning point in a player's career.

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