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Old 12-07-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Okay, so the 2012 season is well and truly behind us, and most of the focus is now on the enticing 2013 season. However, I'd like to have a more specific reflection of a variety of players and how they performed in 2012.

So this is a simple exercise. All you have to do is to choose five matches that defined your favourite player's season. You can do this for multiple players, if you wish. Leave a summary with each match as to why you chose it, but only if you feel like it, and your explanations can be non-existent or they can be as long as you like.

So imagine that in fifty years' time. Someone is looking back at a certain player's 2012 season. Which five matches would best represent what this player went through.

I'll do an example.

David Goffin

Chronological Order

1) Miami Masters 1000 R64: David Goffin l. Nicolas Almagro 4-6, 2-6

Harsh lessons were learnt that day, which would ultimately go on to help him achieve a great deal later on. Almagro played a supremely dominant baseline game, and gave Goffin no room to express himself. A very astute performance from the Spaniard. He did exactly what he had to do to snuff out any chances that the youngster had. Things would soon afterwards*turn out very good for Goffin, however.

2) Le Gosier CH F: David Goffin def. Mischa Zverev 6-2, 6-2

Certainly a minor win, if you look at his season as a whole, but this was a brilliant performance, and in my view, the catalyst to go on and achieve great things during the season. Not much more needs to be said.

3) Roland Garros R16: David Goffin l. Roger Federer 7-5, 5-7, 2-6, 4-6

One of the most memorable moments of the season. The little boy playing his idol. This was a beautiful match for about ninety minutes. Both were playing some delightful stuff, but I think everyone, including Goffin, knew that Federer had some gears to find. Goffin lost momentum and faded pretty badly in the end. Still a great match from him, and a wonderful tournament.

4) Wimbledon R128: David Goffin def. Bernard Tomic 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4

As a fan, I've never felt so nervous watching a match as I did with this one. I really wanted Goffin to win, and for about forty-five minutes, things were going horribly wrong. However, he showed great maturity to steady the ship and take the next three sets rather comfortably, with one break in each. Tomic was in the middle of a rotten spell, but many believed a return to the grass-courts of Wimbledon would spark a revival in him. Goffin disagreed with them.

5) Valencia R16: David Goffin def. John Isner 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-4

This was topsy-turvy, to say the least. Despite not being televised, one could easily sense the tension and drama in this one. The reason I select it, is that Isner had the momentum. He had brought it back to one-set all, and he even had a break in the final set. Goffin must have been very assured, to not panic when in such a situation against arguably the best server in world tennis is a testament to his mentality that belies his age. He's already showing great signs of learning and displaying the experience, but one feels he still has much to learn.

-----

It would be nice if people tried to do different players. While it would be nice to debate the best matches of the big four, that wasn't the main purpose that i had in mind when I thought of this activity.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Phlipp Kohlschreiber

1. Doha R1: Nadal def. Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-7 6-3

Well Kohli was in a real slump at the end of 2011 and he started of his season with a brutal draw. But he showed in this Match that there are better things t ocome this season and so Kohli was off to a great start to 2012

2. Munich Final: Kohlschreiber def. Cilic 7-6 6-3

This victory was maybe the real breakout this season, because he finally got it done the whole week. He played 4 great Matches and he won the title again on home soil

3. Halle QF: Kohlschreiber def. Nadal 6-4 6-4

Do I need to say more, finlly he won against Nadal after coming so close in a lot of Matches.Well of course Nadal was tired, but for Kohlis confidence this was maybe the biggest boost he could get.

4. Wimbledon R16: Kohlschreiber def. Baker 6-2 7-6 6-3

I couldn't decided which Match was more important, this Match or the win against Haas, but here he finally reaached the Quaters of a grand slam, which lead the way that he finally entered the Top 20

5. US Open R32: Kohlschreiber def. Isner 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-3 6-4

Kohli was in a little slump prior to the US Open and played two bad Matches to reach the R 32. But then ut of nowwhere the Kohli of the spring returend and fought down the American Giant in a 5 set thriller. Isner was one of the favorites to reach the semis until Kohli came into his way.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Good thread George Doesn't deserve to be DOA

Barcelona Final: David Ferrer l. Rafael Nadal 6-7 5-7 - Played very well, going after Nadal at every opportunity. Yet failed to get it done in the clutch. Similar story in the first set of their Rome SF before David seemed to lose all belief in himself and Rafa won four straight blow-out sets on the clay. Sadly for Ferrer, he really struggles to take his opportunities against the top 4, which was evidenced again against Murray at Wimbledon and Federer at the YEC.

Roland Garros Quarter Final: David Ferrer def. Andy Murray 6-2 6-7 6-3 6-2 - Reached his first RG SF. Something that was long overdue.

Wimbledon Fourth Round: David Ferrer def. Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-2 6-3 - Wins handily against one of his competitors for a top five ranking and the third of a four match win streak he is currently enjoying over del Potro. He would also beat Berdych, his other rival for a top 5 place, comfortably in one of the biggest matches of each man's season.

US Open Quarter Final: David Ferrer def. Janko Tipsarevic 6-3 6-7 2-6 6-3 7-6 - Outlasts a red-hot Tipsarevic in a marathon match with fluctuating momentum, epitomising his gritty determination and reaffirming his confidence while playing those ranked below him. In doing so, he reached his second GS SF of the year.

Paris-Bercy Final: David Ferrer def. Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-3 - Takes advantage of an open draw and wins the biggest title of his career at the age of 30.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

1. Nadal d. Djokovic Monte Carlo 6-3 6-1

May not seem like the most important one, but in my opinion it was. He finally snapped his losing streak and bounced back from that heartbreaking AO loss. Also a record breaking 8th consecutive MC crown. A loss here on his beloved MC clay against Djokovic (again) would've been terrible and would've had major consequences for his career.

2. Nadal l. Djokovic AO 7-5 4-6 2-6 7-6 5-7

Need I say more about this? Cost him a slam, but more importantly, it gave him the confidence he could beat Djokovic. On Nole's turf he had him on the ropes. And he even arrived in Melbourne after a tough indoor/off season, not expecting too much. And he played brilliantly and almost had him. Very important.

3. Nadal d. Djokovic RG 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5

Record breaking match either way, Rafa showed why he is the greatest ever on clay, finishing off a fantastic tournament in style with a win over his main rival these days. Probably would've been straight sets without the rain, but who cares.

4. Nadal l. Rosol Wimbledon 7-6 4-6 4-6 6-2 4-6

Could've easily been nr.1 this, but I chose a more positive approach. Terrible loss, end of the season, start of his injury woes. Don't want to say much more about it

5. Nadal d. Federer AO 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-4

Any win over Federer in a slam just adds to that fantastic legacy of Rafa. 8-2 already, staggering numbers. And another one on Fed's beloved hardcourts, showed the world again what a brilliant tennis player he is, on ANY surface.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Very good idea for a thread in offseason

Martin Klizan

1. Winston Salem R32: Isner def. Klizan 46 63 75
Klizan was worried about autumn hardcourt season but this match proved him ready to compete with top players and gave him good chances to US Open.

2. US Open R3: Klizan def. Chardy 64 64 64
Yes, some people may argue that Tsonga win was bigger, but I think to beat Chardy after such a succes was a harder (and Klizan said so as well). He showed consistent performance throughout whole match and get to last 16 with perfect symetric result.

3. St.Pete SF : Klizan def. Youzhny 67 64 76
Almost 4-hour battle, this match had everything and it may be highlight of his season (in performances) and with the fact he was able to back this win up in final day after.

4. Kitzbuhel QF: Klizan def.Bolleli 16 75 61
He wasn´t really in that good form until he played Kitzbuhel. He struggled against Thiem in 1st round there and against Bolleli in first set and things looked bad for him. This result gave him his first ATP semifinal start his great summer (San Marino W, US Open R4, St.Petersburg W)

5. Paris R1: Seppi def. Klizan 62 26 76
I hope this match will force Martin to train even more and motivate him a lot during offseason. He should win this match but blew it away and it was his last match of 2012 so it stayed in his head for a time, that is sure.

Plus - all 3 matches against Cilic this year. In every match, he had chances to decide in important sets, but couldn´t take opportunities and it was breaking point in whole matches. He was able to be good for set or two in every match but couldn´t deliver. I hope it will help him in 2013.


Lukas Lacko

1. Helsinki F: Lacko def. Nieminen 63 64
Great way to end up-and-down 2012. 125 points for a win in tough challenger and first time in top 50 after this tournament. It also brought him good mood into offseason for sure and may kick him up for a good start in 2013.

2. Wimbledon R2: Lacko def. Melzer 64 67 36 63 64
This match helped Lacko gain some points during his drought between Miami and Tokyo (yes, quite a lot of tournaments). Win in 5-setter in GS is always very important and he could play at big court for a first time (@Wimbledon).

3. Tokyo R1: Lacko def. Ramos 60 62
Ending of streak of 9 consecutive loses was in style. 45 points for this win and chance to play Murray in next round was a nice, too.

4. Dubai R2: Berdych def. Lacko 61 62 /Tokyo R2: Murray def.Lacko 61 62
A fine proof that top players are still far far away from his level. First match was in February, second one in October - and nothing really changed (in fact, his form got even worse - but improved in the end of season). Lukas really sucks against top players, got straight-setted by Tsonga, Nadal, Federer or Ferrer without any chances in each set. Last time he played good against top player was that bagel against Nadal.

5. Bucharest R1: Balasz def. Lacko 67 76 64
Start of his early decline in 2012. Clay court. Weak opponent. Weak tournament. First set won so-so. Second set lost in tight moments. Third set lost as well and mental problems with clay were back. So simple.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Fed lose to dull AO

Fed def Nadal indian wells

Fed def djokovic wimbledon

Fed def Mugray wimbledon

Fed def del potro olympics
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Nadal of course. He and Djokovic are by far the most likeable members in top 4.

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As a knowledgable tennis fan (unlike some people here), I can tell you exactly that. There are tennis players who have problems with playing indoor tennis because of the different lights, different sounds etc. compared to outdoors and Nadal is obvioulsy one of those players.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

I'm actually going to do 9 matches of Nadal that defined this year.

1. AO QF vs. Berdych- Berdych has success vs. Nadal on hard courts in years past, and had a set up and a set point to take it 2 sets up, but Nadal just fought hard and came through with a defining win, imo. We saw how Berdych can take out a top seed in a HC slam at USO. This was a big match for Rafa to get through.

2. AO SF vs. Fed- Nadal's win over Fed in AO 09, many thought was a fluke blah blah blah, this was a big match for Nadal over Fed in a hard court slam.

3. AO F vs. Nole- 6 hour war, incredible stuff

4. Fed in IW- First time Nadal lost to Fed on an outdoor hard court since I think Miami 2005?

5. Tsonga in Miami- Nadal should have wrapped this up in 2, but struggled in 3 and his body paid the price.

6. Nole in MC- First time beating Nole since 2010 WTF, meant a lot to him.

7. Ferrer in Barcelona- Only Ferrer and Nadal can play a 2 set match that lasts over 3 hours, and what a match it was. Truly Ferrer's best chance to beat Nadal.

8. Djoovic RG final- Cemented legacy as greatest clay courter of them all.

9. Rosol match at Wimbledon- Not much more needs to be said, really.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Del Potro

1. Lost to Federer at Australian Open quarterfinals 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Showed how far off the top players, namely Federer, Del Potro was at the start of 2011. This result was followed by similar beatdowns in Rotterdam and Indian Wells, showed how much work he needed to do.

2. Beat Berdych 7-6, 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in round 4 of Roland Garros

First match since his comeback where he really hit his FH with same devastating power and metronomic consistency he used to back before surgery. He beat Berdych despite an injured knee and came within a whisker of doing the same against Federer in the following round. He had already got back what he needed to emerge into a threat again.

3. Lost to Federer 6-3, 6-7 (5), 17-19 in Olympic semis

Showed how much progress he had made since the start of the year by reaching the semis at the Olympics and pushing Federer to the very limits on the latter's best surface. It was arguably the match of the year with JMDP giving Federer all he could handle and, despite losing, essentially ending his chances at the gold medal. He showed he belong with the elite again in this match.

4.Beat Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 in Olympic bronze medal match

Confirmed his return to contention by beating the world's best player in an Olympic medal decider in emphatic fashion. A horribly timed left wrist injury set him back during the American hardcourt season but even then he was only derailed by Djokovic, but he'd be back strong in the indoor season.

5.Beat Federer 6-4, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3) in the Basel final

He desperately needed a win over Federer and he got it in the lion's den no less. He went on to beat Federer again at the World Tour Finals and then narrowly losing the semis to Nole, showing once again he's getting closer to the top guys.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

^
i agree and except maybe i would substitute the loss to djoko at the USO with the federer one at the ao
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Nadal of course. He and Djokovic are by far the most likeable members in top 4.

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As a knowledgable tennis fan (unlike some people here), I can tell you exactly that. There are tennis players who have problems with playing indoor tennis because of the different lights, different sounds etc. compared to outdoors and Nadal is obvioulsy one of those players.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

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Originally Posted by GOATsol View Post
^
i agree and except maybe i would substitute the loss to djoko at the USO with the federer one at the ao
He had a left wrist injury during the entire American hardcourt season and couldn't attack with his BH, he couldn't be realistically expected to beat or even push someone like Djokovic, he made that match as close as entertaining as he could.

He still put up a much better fight than against Federer at AO, where he was simply blown off the court easily. Despite BH issues at USO, he forced Djokovic to come up with some great tennis to beat him in sets 2 and 3.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Roger Federer

Wimbledon Final: Roger Federer defeats Andy Murray 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4: Return to winning slams after failing to do so in 2011. 7th Wimbledon title, tied for most Wimbledon titles. Winning this match and title allowed Roger to retake his rightful spot at the top of men's tennis. Roger was able to bring his best tennis to defeat Murray in the finals. Great quality in end of set 2 and sets 3 and 4.

Cincinnatti Final: Roger Federer crushes Novak Djokovic 6-0 7-6: The true HC King showed how tennis should be played on the surface. Beautiful display of attacking tennis. Not broken all tournament. (shame there are so few fast surfaces nowadays)

Olympics Semis: Roger Federer defeats JMDP 3-6 7-6 19-17: This match showed how much Roger wanted the gold in singles. It was a brutal match that lasted roughly 4:30 hours. Unfortunately Roger was too tired and gave no fight whatsoever to the eventual winner. But there is still Rio in 2016.

Madrid Finals: Roger Federer defeats Tomas Berdych 3-6 7-5 7-5: First title on clay in almost 3 years. Showed the crying, complaining self-centered divas how to adjust to different surfaces like back in the day where the surfaces weren't all identical. Great tournament overall and one more important step in the quest to regain world #1.

Wimbledon R32: Roger Federer defeats Julien Benneteau 4-6 6-7 6-2 7-6 6-1: The fighting spirit Roger showed and the will to win were fantastic. Roger battled back issues and was able to outlast an inspired Benneteau. This match showed that Roger really loves the game of tennis and especially Wimbledon.
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Old 12-08-2012, 03:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

In chronological order:

1. Djokovic def. Nadal - AO - 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7, 7–5

A brutal match that cemented Nole's greatness and gave him the chance for a non-CY Grand Slam. Played some phenomenal tennis during the second and third sets but ultimately won the match via determination, durability and a bit of luck.

2. Isner def. Djokovic - IW - 6-7, 6-3, 6-7

Lost another two tie breaks in a big match and an early indication that Nole 2.0 had regressed into Nole 1.5 territory.

3. Nadal def. Djokovic - RG - 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 5–7

As above, really. Nole's level dropped enough that Rafa won three in a row in clay finals, most importantly at the final of RG of course. Still showed glimpses of supreme tennis - absolutely bossing the fourth set.

4. Murray def. Djokovic - USO - 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–3, 2–6

Another crucial tiebreak loss that set the tone for the first half of the final. Disappointing to see his usually great stamina/fitness let him down a bit in the final set and also disappointed by how long it took him to adapt to the dreadful conditions.

5. Djokovic def. Federer - WTF - 7-6, 7-5

Highly entertaining match of great quality with Nole reinforcing that he's still the best player around by some distance even if he didn't bring his A game at some important moments during the year.

--------------

Choosing 3 losses feels weird But it was an odd year for Nole imo.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abel View Post
In chronological order:

1. Djokovic def. Nadal - AO - 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7, 7–5

A brutal match that cemented Nole's greatness and gave him the chance for a non-CY Grand Slam. Played some phenomenal tennis during the second and third sets but ultimately won the match via determination, durability and a bit of luck.

2. Isner def. Djokovic - IW - 6-7, 6-3, 6-7

Lost another two tie breaks in a big match and an early indication that Nole 2.0 had regressed into Nole 1.5 territory.

3. Nadal def. Djokovic - RG - 4–6, 3–6, 6–2, 5–7

As above, really. Nole's level dropped enough that Rafa won three in a row in clay finals, most importantly at the final of RG of course. Still showed glimpses of supreme tennis - absolutely bossing the fourth set.

4. Murray def. Djokovic - USO - 6–7, 5–7, 6–2, 6–3, 2–6

Another crucial tiebreak loss that set the tone for the first half of the final. Disappointing to see his usually great stamina/fitness let him down a bit in the final set and also disappointed by how long it took him to adapt to the dreadful conditions.

5. Djokovic def. Federer - WTF - 7-6, 7-5

Highly entertaining match of great quality with Nole reinforcing that he's still the best player around by some distance even if he didn't bring his A game at some important moments during the year.

--------------

Choosing 3 losses feels weird But it was an odd year for Nole imo.
I wouldn't say Nole is the best player by some distance... Most consistent maybe.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Andy Murray

1. Djokovic def Murray Australian Open semis 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5.. or the match that made fans believe this Lendl arrangement might pay dividends. You could see already the difference in Andy on the court.

2. Federer def Murray Wimbledon final 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4

3. Murray def Federer Olympics 6-2 6-1 6-4 - #2 and #3 will be tied together for many years to come. Without the Wimbledon final disappointment, you don't get the preparation that leads to this.

4. Murray def Cilic US Open QFs 3-6 7-6 6-2 6-0 - Every year Murray has at least one match where he pulls a rabbit out of the hat and storms back from a deep deficit against an underdog. While he did not have a two-sets-to-none comeback this year, he did have this match to get to #5.

5. Murray def Djokovic US Open final 7-6 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2
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Old 12-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Five Matches That Defined Your Favourite Player's 2012 Season

Tomas Berdych

Australian Open R4 - Beat Almagro 4-6 7-6 7-6 7-6
High quality match against a fellow top player but also a key match in starting his year well. Kept all the pressure within himself when big moments arrived and produced the goods when needed. Also no doubt one of the most controversial moments of this year at the end.

Australian Open QF - Lost to Nadal 7-6 6-7 4-6 3-6
Finally a big match against a big player not named Federer which he's shown up at. In my opinion played as well as he could have but on a court as slow as that, Nadal's best was always going to be too good. Regardless of him losing I don't think anyone was going to beat Nadal playing the way he was, definitely the best hardcourt match Nadal has played in years, forehand and serve were absolutely incredible from him.

Wimbledon R1 - Lost to Gulbis 6-7 6-7 6-7
The best match to describe how much Berdych's game has changed the last few years. Before 2010 there's no way he would have let Gulbis dictate him off the ground the way he did, yet it happened here. Berdych is a far more controlled aggressor now and it showed in this match more than any other the last few years. Gulbis probably played the match of his life but still I'm disappointed that Berdych didn't at least try to revert back to his old game and at least put Gulbis on the backfoot when able to.

US Open QF - Beat Federer 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3
Definitely Berdych's match since Rome. Didn't let Federer have any rhythm at all and forced his opponent to go for more than he's comfortable with. Also arguably the best mental performance Berdych has ever put in a big match, after losing the third having been a break up, the fourth set from him was world class considering how he not only maintained his level but raised it.

Davis Cup Final - Beat Almagro 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-7 6-3
Not the greatest match quality wise but a massive match for Berdych to win given had it lost it Spain would have gone 2-0 after the first day. Berdych's form the few weeks prior to the match wasn't great so it always had the potential to be tight, but like that match against Federer at the US Open he produced the goods when he needed to, especially early on in the 5th set saving quite a few break points. Definitely the man who won the Czechs the Davis Cup this year and a great way to end a great year.
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if he loses this I will support Murray
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