Here's a countdown of the most memorable matches of Roland Garros 2013. Tell me which was your favourite in the poll and comments section.
Not many players save 12 match points and come back to win, but that's what John Isner nearly managed to achieve against Tommy Haas in the Third Round of Roland Garros last year, earning a match point of his own before finally succumbing to the German veteran after 4 hours, 37 minutes. The big American had even led the final set 4-1 before he was scuppered by leg cramps, allowing 35 year old Haas to secure a five set win that spoke volumes about his own physical resilience.
5. (WC) Monfils d. (5) Berdych 7-6(8), 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-7(4), 7-5 (First Round)
Gael Monfils returned to the tour in 2013 just in time to make the final of Nice before the French Open. However, with his ranking such a long way adrift, the popular Frenchman needed a wildcard into the main draw in Paris. In the absence of Andy Murray, Czech number one Berdych was promoted to 5th seed, something that turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing as he was faced with an inspired Monfils with the backing of the home crowd on Phillipe Chatrier. Despite fighting back from two sets down, the Czech never looked comfortable, and he eventually cracked in the deciding set, which he lost 7-5.
4. (9) Wawrinka d. (7) Gasquet 6-7(5), 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 8-6 (Fourth Round)
After reaching the final of the Madrid Masters a few weeks beforehand, Wawrinka's run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros last year was another subtle step on the path that would eventually see him return to Paris in 2014 as a grand slam champion. Gasquet was having the best year of his career by the time he reached his home slam event, and had one foot in the quarter-finals when he surged into a two set lead. Stan secured the only break of the third set in the tenth and decisive game, before saving break points at 4-4 and 5-5 in the fourth set. Despite the raucous support of the Parisien crowd, Gasquet was unable to reach his first quarter-final at the French Open, and it was Wawrinka who progressed instead, after hitting 92 winners in a match that lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes on Suzanne Lenglen.
3. (2) Federer d. (15) Simon 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 (Fourth Round)
It was Roland Garros in 2004 when Roger Federer had last failed to reach the last eight at a grand slam event, a phenomenal run that was famously brought to an end by Sergiy Stakhovsky, of all people, at Wimbledon in 2013. However, Gilles Simon was on course to be the man who stopped the Swiss Maestro's streak just a few weeks earlier. Despite losing the opening set 6-1, Simon stuck with Federer throughout the second set, and capitalised on a fall for the second seed to break through and take it 6-4. The Frenchman went on to win the third set 6-2, but Roger came roaring back, and with the support of the crowd, even against their home grown competitor, he secured his 900th main tour win and his 36th consecutive quarter-final appearance at a major.
2. (32) Robredo d. (11) Almagro 6-7(5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 (Fourth Round)
Tommy Robredo started 2013 ranked outside the top 100, but came into the French Open as one of the 32 seeds, largely thanks to his title win in Casablanca. One of the elder statesmen of the tour these days, Robredo should have come into this match dead on his feet, having come from two sets down in his last two matches, something he hadn't achieved once since 2003, against Igor Sijsling and Gael Monfils, saving 4 match point against the latter, to make it to the last 16. While questions will be asked of Almagro, who led the match by two sets and was a break up in each of the third, fourth and fifth sets, you can only admire Robredo's persistence as he battled back to secure his place in the quarter finals, making history as the first man in 86 years to win from two sets down in three consecutive matches.
1. (3) Nadal d. (1) Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(1), 9-7 (Semi-Final)
I'm sure nobody will be shocked by my number one choice here, with what was always likely to be the effective final of last year's event, which was contested for 4 hours and 37 minutes between the world's two best players. A clash that ebbed and flowed fittingly reached a 5th set, where Djokovic led by a break before touching the net on a routine smash in what would become one of the defining moments of 2013. The Serb lost the point and went on to get broken back in that service game, his frustration eventually boiling over in the 16th game of the set, where he was broken to lose the match, hitting a series of unforced errors after complaining to the umpire about the courts not being watered. Nadal went on to face compatriot David Ferrer, who was competing his first major final, and the rest, as they say, is history.
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