The Most Riveting Points of 2012 from the ATP's Big Four

Jeff Cohn@jeff_cohnCorrespondent IIIDecember 23, 2012

The Most Riveting Points of 2012 from the ATP's Big Four

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    There is no question that 2012 was a monumental year for professional tennis. But the quality of the matches may rank among the highest of all time.

    The ATP's Big Four were highly successful and split the Majors evenly. Most of the ATP1000s were also captured by these gentlemen.

    Though Rafael Nadal sat out for the second half of the season, all four of these players had stellar years and capitalized in most of the important moments.

    Throughout this slideshow there are videos that showcase the brilliant shot-making abilities of these seemingly non-human athletes.

    Enjoy the most captivating points that they were a part of during the year. What were your favorite points? Post in the comments section below.

The Tsonga-Nadal Duel

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    The end of this match was fantastic.

    You can watch the dramatic final game starting at 14:02.

Smart Slice

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    Rafa completely fooled his compatriot, David Ferrer, in this tricky exchange at the net.

    Go to 1:39 to see him fight off a break point and proceed to thrash his semifinal opponent.

Roger Federer Wins It with a Stick-Save

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    Go to 1:38 to see Roger Federer play three great improvised shots in the same point.

    He turned the rally from defense to offense, though it took something special here.

Federer Turns the Tide

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    At 5:15, the Swiss athlete was down a set point on Ivo Karlović's serve. The danger in this situation is hard to grasp.

    Nevertheless, Federer played a deft lob and followed it up with a strong inside-out return of serve winner to help him win the opener. 

Rafa Pulls Away in a Close Battle

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    At 7:08, Rafa became the clear front-runner in the match and would never look back.

    This retrieval to earn the early break was almost impossible, but the Spaniard was able to pull it off.

Instant Winners

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    Start the video at 8:01 and watch as Benneteau fights off three set points with clear, rapid winners.

    Federer lost this set and endured a heroic comeback on his way to the Wimbledon title.

Feds Hits a Slice-Passing Shot Winner

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    At 10:28, Federer's scrambling paid off as he sent Berdych flying to the ground.

Serbian Comeback

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    Watch Djokovic's comeback from double match point at 1:27. The first point he fights off was incredibly composed and helped the Serb to reach the final.

Retrieval Skills

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    The point at 10:17 was unreal and I still cannot believe it lasted as long as it did.

    This match was one of the best matches of the year and still was a straight-set encounter.

Endless Point

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    The 4:14 rally seemed to go on for an eternity as Djokovic got the best of the King of Clay.

Ridiculous

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    The point at 5:45 was one of the best points all year.

    This was a cat-and-mouse exchange that lasted way longer than any live spectators anticipated.

Federer Takes His Opportunity

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    The game starting at 10:27 was especially riveting.

    Just one game after Djokovic nearly broke to potentially take the third set, Federer switched up the scripts.

Two Magicians

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    At 5:41, Bernard Tomic thought he had won the point by faking out his opponent. The only problem was the man on the other side of the net was ready for the trick.

    Federer played a stick-save on-the-rise passing shot from no man's land—that's pretty impressive.

Pure Highlights

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    The excitement really gets going at 10:20.

    The second set was so dramatic and physical, and Delpo seemed to have it, but Nole's defense helped him claw his way back into the match.

Agility at Its Finest

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    Federer puts on a defense show at 3:30. His read on the ball was phenomenal in this point, though Nole would still pull through and break serve.

Four in a Row

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    At 7:55, it seemed as though the match was heading into a second set tiebreak.

    Roger had other ideas—he turned it on and won four consecutive points in style, including the set point to turn the match around.

The Forehand Glide

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    The Swiss Maestro made sure to please the crowd with his delicate winner at 5:22.

Double Feature

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    Roger Federer delights the crowd with an insanely difficult fastball at 1:01.

    But, Rafael Nadal responds with an out-of-position passing shot that had his rival fooled at 3:41.

    This match was an absolute classic, even though it was a four-setter.

Hulk Smash

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    Feds' smash at 7:46 proves two things—1. he enjoys toying with people who are already losing and 2. he loves being on the highlights reel.

Rosol Is a Demolition Derby

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    Watch from 9:30 until the end of the match.

    This was the most unbelievable set of tennis of the year, in my opinion. What did you think of this fifth set display?

Djokovic and Nadal Fight on Five Hours Later

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    The fact that this is sometimes the kind of point you must play to win a Major might be horrifying to some young talents.

    These two deserved the standing ovation at the end of the rally.

Talk About Extraordinary

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    The first two points in the video were perhaps the most intense points of the match, though the match was brutal and got increasingly difficult.

    These two show off their speed, flexibility, anticipation and the such in Murray's opening service game.

The Third-Most Clutch Point of the Year

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    Roger Federer needed a miracle and two unbelievable shots to fight off this set point at 10:02.

    He would go on to lose the set and the match, but both players pushed each other to the limit.

The Second-Most Clutch Point of the Year

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    5:46 was a special moment in tennis. In one of the best defensive, never-say-die points Rafael Nadal fought off a set point in remarkable fashion.

    He would go on to lose the set in a tiebreak but this was one of the greatest points the man has ever played.

The Most Clutch Point of the Year

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    Roger Federer was focused and inspired at 5:10. He gave Berdych everything he could, and hit the most precise volley to stay alive.

    Follow Jeff Cohn, B/R's Tennis Community Leader and Featured Columnist, on Twitter and Instagram (@tennispro4793).