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John Newcombe's 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory over Jimmy Connors in the 1975 Australian Open finals barely beat out Stefan Edberg's 1987 victory over Pat Cash for the final spot on our list.
The Connors-Newcombe match carries a certain historic value that others lacked. Plus, these two players from different tennis eras didn't care much for each other, as noted in an Oregonian story.
The 22-year-old Connors was dominating men's tennis at the time. He had won 99 of 103 matches during the just-completed 1974 season, including victories in the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He had displaced Newcombe as the No. 1 player in the world, but did not face Newcombe in any of his 1974 Grand Slam conquests.
Connors breezed through into the Australian Open finals without losing more than four games in any set of his three matches preceding the title match.
Meanwhile, bad weather had forced Newcombe to play his three matches leading up to the finals on consecutive days. All three were five-setters, and he won those three fifth sets by scores of 10-8, 10-8 and 11-9.
The 30-year-old Newcombe figured to fade against Connors in the finals, and that looked to be the case after Connors powered his way to victory in the second set to even the match.
An odd turning point arrived in the third set. With Connors serving at 2-3, three consecutive disputed line calls helped Connors take a 40-15 lead. Amid the boos from the Australian crowd supporting his Aussie opponent, Connors deliberately double faulted on the next point to make it 40-30, according to a Sports Illustrated account. Newcombe shook his head in disgust at Connors' ploy, which seemed to motivate the Aussie.
Newcombe eventually broke Connors' serve in that game and won the third set.
Newcombe's momentum carried into the fourth set as he employed more of a finesse game to counter Connors' power. It's the same strategy Arthur Ashe used to upset Connors six months later in the Wimbledon finals.
Connors fought off one match point against him on Newcombe's serve to force a fourth-set tiebreaker, and Newcombe withstood one set point against him in the tiebreaker before closing out the match.
It proved to be the last of Newcombe's seven Grand Slam singles titles.