Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Turning Point Matches - Your Favorites

MacTheKnife
07-29-2009, 02:11 PM
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..

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 02:23 PM
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.

feuselino
07-29-2009, 04:56 PM
Yeah, the Hewitt debacle was key, I agree. Strange how a defeat can also be a turning point for something better...

jonathancrane
07-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Sampras - Edberg US open 1992

lessthanjake
07-29-2009, 05:06 PM
1981 US Open. Borg retired.

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 05:08 PM
Nadal playing and winning the 2004 Davis Cup final, he was ranked in the 50s at that time, then 2005 spoke for itself.

Voo de Mar
07-29-2009, 05:11 PM
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.

Dini
07-29-2009, 05:20 PM
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.

MacTheKnife
07-29-2009, 05:26 PM
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.

Voo de Mar
07-29-2009, 05:27 PM
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.

rocketassist
07-29-2009, 05:34 PM
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.

Dini
07-29-2009, 05:37 PM
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.

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. :p

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Dini
07-29-2009, 05:41 PM
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.

MacTheKnife
07-29-2009, 05:49 PM
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.

shotgun
07-29-2009, 06:00 PM
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.

MacTheKnife
07-29-2009, 06:13 PM
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.

Great point shotgun and excellent examples. Certainly do not want to limit this to mental. You are right, physical turning points are also critical and they too can work both ways.

Dini
07-29-2009, 06:20 PM
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.

What about Wilander's 1988 USO effort?

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 06:22 PM
What about Wilander's 1988 USO effort?

What about it? He won a tournament after that.

Tired at the end of the year and lost motivation in 1989, actually the loss in the DC final to Steeb when the Swedes were massive favourites, that started the decline of Swedish tennis, with Edberg carrying it alone pretty much, the other guys were limited to indoors.

stebs
07-29-2009, 06:53 PM
Interesting thread with some nice examples. Whilst I wouldn't call it a turning point exactly there were clues to Verdasco's breaking of the top 10 even pre AO. His totally ott antics in Brisbane (I think, could've been a difference pre AO tourny) were almost like his own personal show that he was resolved to fight a lot harder from the new year on. Remains to be seen if he keeps it up.

With the young and talented players it is hard to say, there are often matches which seem like they may light the blue touch paper (Gasquet def. Roddick at Wimbledon for example) but they often just prove to be one offs.

HattonWBA
07-29-2009, 08:36 PM
Murray - Beating Gasquet at Wimby 08 from 2 sets down

DrJules
07-29-2009, 08:57 PM
I wonder when the Lendl victory over McEnroe at French Open 1984 will be mentioned.

Winning 1st grand slam after losing first 2 sets.

tennishero
07-29-2009, 09:48 PM
recent match, del potro vs nadal.

del potro got broken twice at the start of the third set and was down 0-3, he then broke back and went on to win the match in a close tie break.

Dini
07-29-2009, 09:52 PM
recent match, del potro vs nadal.

del potro got broken twice at the start of the third set and was down 0-3, he then broke back and went on to win the match in a close tie break.

I think JMDP's turning point was much earlier than that, last year infact when he went on a winning streak. :p

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 09:58 PM
I think JMDP's turning point was much earlier than that, last year infact when he went on a winning streak. :p

Ahem far from it.

The time tennishero mentioned he actually beat a top player and did it coming back from a deficit, more important than some easy title wins.

tennishero
07-29-2009, 10:01 PM
I think JMDP's turning point was much earlier than that, last year infact when he went on a winning streak. :p

I agree, but this win put him into the top 5 and showed he could challenge the top players.

Dini
07-29-2009, 10:07 PM
Ahem far from it.

The time tennishero mentioned he actually beat a top player and did it coming back from a deficit, more important than some easy title wins.

True, but I don't think he would have beat Nadal had he not had the confidence from winning a lot of matches last year and this year. His mental breakthrough can be attributed to the Miami QF match, but the turning point in his career in terms of getting recognised as a contender for titles happened last year, I think. He reached two QF's in Slams before he beat Nadal and Murray. His wins over those two top guys just further consolidated the so called "turning point" or breakthrough in my opinion.

Action Jackson
07-29-2009, 10:13 PM
True, but I don't think he would have beat Nadal had he not had the confidence from winning a lot of matches last year and this year. His mental breakthrough can be attributed to the Miami QF match, but the turning point in his career in terms of getting recognised as a contender for titles happened last year, I think. He reached two QF's in Slams before he beat Nadal and Murray. His wins over those two top guys just further consolidated the so called "turning point" or breakthrough in my opinion.

He beats players he should be beating and not doing anything against the better ones, that is what was happening before he beat Nadal in Miami, then he pushed Federer in Paris, whereas he was a clown in Melbourne. That is the breakthrough that counts, not beating up on chumps.

Certinfy
07-29-2009, 10:24 PM
Murray - Beating Gasquet at Wimby 08 from 2 sets down
THIS! Best moment for me in tennis.

Dini
07-29-2009, 10:26 PM
He beats players he should be beating and not doing anything against the better ones, that is what was happening before he beat Nadal in Miami, then he pushed Federer in Paris, whereas he was a clown in Melbourne. That is the breakthrough that counts, not beating up on chumps.

Point taken.

But for me part of breaking through is when you start to beat guys consistently and going deep into tournaments when you weren't able to do so previously. The thing highlighted in bold is part of the initial turning point - he wasn't doing that before 2008 consistently. That is why I don't name Fed's win against Sampras as a breakthrough - it was a big win against a legend of the game and a top player but the rest of the year was muted in comparison because he was still losing to mugs and guys he should have beaten.

But I agree his big mental breakthrough did start against Nadal when he had to be patient and think carefully instead of ball bashing to defeat and that did act as a springboard to his confident play in Paris against Fed.

habibko
07-29-2009, 10:42 PM
great thread Mac :yeah:

Nadal's loss in RG this year could well be a turning point for the worse, this remains to be seen though.

Djokovic hasn't performed well in slams since his staight sets R2 loss to Safin in Wimbledon 2008.

Dini
07-29-2009, 10:44 PM
great thread Mac :yeah:

Nadal's loss in RG this year could well be a turning point for the worse, this remains to be seen though.

Djokovic hasn't performed well in slams since his staight sets R2 loss to Safin in Wimbledon 2008.

That's true, but with the exception of the USO 2008. He reached the semis there and lost to a Fed that wasn't willing to lose. I'd call that a good result.

habibko
07-29-2009, 11:17 PM
That's true, but with the exception of the USO 2008. He reached the semis there and lost to a Fed that wasn't willing to lose. I'd call that a good result.

yeah I overlooked that GS result, but in general he hasn't been the same player he was in late 2007/early 2008 since that loss, hard to separate cause and effect in these situations though.

stebs
07-30-2009, 08:34 AM
yeah I overlooked that GS result, but in general he hasn't been the same player he was in late 2007/early 2008 since that loss, hard to separate cause and effect in these situations though.

I actually don't agree with this notion that seems to be the given truth on MTF right now. I think Djokovic hasn't bought his best game to slams which has cost him in terms of rankings and his position as a top dog but overall his game hasn't declined imo. Just an inability to bring his best when he has to. What are his slam results since his AO win? SF, R2, SF, QF, R3, QF. They are poor for a guy who had previosuly two straight GS finals it's true but I think he will get it together. His results away from the slams are pretty strong still. His clay season especially was fantastic except for one big flop at RG where he had a real chance to make another slam final and pretty much threw it away.

duong
07-30-2009, 01:08 PM
I wonder when the Lendl victory over McEnroe at French Open 1984 will be mentioned.

Winning 1st grand slam after losing first 2 sets.

Actually from what I read, Lendl himself didn't consider it so much as a turning-point.

From what I read, the turning-point for him is more about his nutrition : he had important problems with it in the end of 1984 and then totally changed his diet thanks to a nutritionist.

Actually generally speaking, I think that the insistance on these "turning-point matches" is way overrated, as are all myths which tennis fans love. Quite often, the change is not about one particular match, but about a whole change in the player's approach of the game.

As for JMDP, I definitely consider that the turning-point for him is the summer 2008, not the match against Nadal in Miami.
I know the MTF speech about "beating poor players" but actually playing regularly at this level is the mark of a huge player : if it was so easy, many players would win several tournaments in a row as he did. And the fact is not many players do that.
He was not the same after that summer, was always very regular at this level, and was very near to Murray in a very good match during the US Open 2008.
He was even better in Roland-Garros, that's true, but before RG, he had not been especially great during the clay season. The difference between the pre-Miami and post-Miami JMDP doesn't seem obvious to me, contrary to the difference between the pre-summer 2008 and the post-summer 2008.

As for Federer, Voo de Mar spoke about his match against Nalbandian in AO2004, but actually he had already easily beaten Nalbandian (and for the first time) in the Masters Cup 2003.
He also started beating easily other players who beat him regularly during this Masters Cup : Agassi (easily beaten in the final after a very hard forst match), and Ferrero.
And generally speaking, his level of play really increased during this Masters Cup ... and the following was all brilliant.

Murraylicious
07-30-2009, 01:18 PM
THIS! Best moment for me in tennis.

My fav match :)
and the most emotional match for the players and British crowd
I can see it a lot of times

stebs
07-30-2009, 02:53 PM
Actually from what I read, Lendl himself didn't consider it so much as a turning-point.

From what I read, the turning-point for him is more about his nutrition : he had important problems with it in the end of 1984 and then totally changed his diet thanks to a nutritionist.

Actually generally speaking, I think that the insistance on these "turning-point matches" is way overrated, as are all myths which tennis fans love. Quite often, the change is not about one particular match, but about a whole change in the player's approach of the game.

As for JMDP, I definitely consider that the turning-point for him is the summer 2008, not the match against Nadal in Miami.
I know the MTF speech about "beating poor players" but actually playing regularly at this level is the mark of a huge player : if it was so easy, many players would win several tournaments in a row as he did. And the fact is not many players do that.
He was not the same after that summer, was always very regular at this level, and was very near to Murray in a very good match during the US Open 2008.
He was even better in Roland-Garros, that's true, but before RG, he had not been especially great during the clay season. The difference between the pre-Miami and post-Miami JMDP doesn't seem obvious to me, contrary to the difference between the pre-summer 2008 and the post-summer 2008.
I agree wholeheartedly. The idea of a turning point match is a romanticised one which is fun to discuss but real examples of this are probably few and far between. More often is a gradual improvement or decline.

Obviously in terms of physical issues like injuries this is a bit different as specific moments can be pinpointed.

Polikarpov
07-30-2009, 03:03 PM
I've always thought that the turning point of Roger's career was this match:

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ballbasher101
07-30-2009, 03:05 PM
I think the most important match for Federer was winning his first major at Wimbledon. Getting the first major out of the way is critical so I hope Muzza does it soon.

MacTheKnife
07-30-2009, 04:13 PM
Actually generally speaking, I think that the insistance on these "turning-point matches" is way overrated, as are all myths which tennis fans love. Quite often, the change is not about one particular match, but about a whole change in the player's approach of the game.

Couldn't disagree more, or at least every player I've ever heard interviewed can site one of two example of matches where there were some type of mental turning point, some good, some bad. Now do they last forever, of course not, careers and confidence is like a pendulum that can swing both ways.
BUT, these guys have no reason to lie when they site specific matches that resulted in them turning some kind of corner.

out_here_grindin
09-30-2009, 07:15 PM
My fav match :)
and the most emotional match for the players and British crowd
I can see it a lot of times

Was a greta moment for him. But he could on the verge of a match the turns his career the other way. (If not already).