Top 5 Most Entertaining Straight-Set Matches Since 2012

Jeff Cohn@jeff_cohnCorrespondent IIIMay 6, 2013

Top 5 Most Entertaining Straight-Set Matches Since 2012

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    Though many entertaining matches last several hours, points and sets, there is no doubt that some straight-set matches can provide just as much viewing enjoyment.

    Recently there has been an increasing amount of lengthy, tough matches played across all surfaces.

    Many matches of the past few years have been historic (examples are the longest Davis Cup match of all time and John Isner's unprecedented lengthiest match in history against Nicolas Mahut).

    But even when there is a loser (sometimes in straight sets), he still tries his best to show what he is made of.

    These entertaining straight-set matches date back since 2012 and are ranked in order of quality of points, stage and caliber of the tournament and overall drama surrounding the match.

Honorable Mention: Murray Pushes Llodra Aside

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    Yes, this match was a slaughterfest.

    Yes, the third set was a complete shutout.

    But this was an incredibly entertaining match, even when Andy Murray won three times the amount of games as his opponent, Michael Llodra of France.

    The second set served as the key entertainment, as fans were very pleased with their experience that day.

    Llodra certainly has the old-school game and skills to challenge these typical baseliners, but he definitely came up way short in this Aussie Open showdown.

5. Dimitrov Displays His Arsenal

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    This year's Monte Carlo tournament served as the first ATP1000 on red clay—it certainly left many viewers anxious for more to come from the red clay season.

    Grigor Dimitrov, the obvious up-and-comer from Bulgaria, gave Rafael Nadal a very good run for his money in a subsequent round, but prior to that he had to overcome the world number two Serb, Janko Tipsarevic.

    The first set was very high quality and the second (though Tipsarevic saw himself "breadsticked" and broken thrice) allowed Dimitrov to let his talents fly freely.

    There were many enjoyable points throughout this straight-set affair and it has earned its spot in the Top 5 of this list.

4. Tsonga (Nearly) Makes an Incredible Comeback

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    Just over an hour into this match, some fans might have been heading for the exit doors.

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga likely was, too, but he decided to slug away at the ball to provide some last-minute entertainment. He ultimately was able to come back from 6-3, 5-1 down to a second set tiebreak against Rafael Nadal (and on red clay at that).

    He capitalized on a few opportunities presented by Rafa's nerves and by his own tenacity.

    The tiebreak was even until Rafa scored a significant down-the-line "banana"—a forehand passing shot winner.

    Nonetheless, the crowd was pleased as Tsonga was able to give that match some value.

3. Federer vs. Djokovic in the World Tour Finals

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    Both of these tremendous athletes (the world No. 1 and No. 2) had chances to win either set. It just so happened that Novak Djokovic took home each one.

    First, Nole was down 0-3, and then he served for the first set at 5-4. Next, he had a set point in the tiebreak that Federer wiped away with a once-in-a-lifetime volley and forehand.

    In the second set, Roger secured an early break and seemed to be serving steadily for the entire set—until the game where he would attempt to serve it out.

    Though Federer's nerves and occasional lack of trustworthiness led to his downfall in the end, this match was incredibly thrilling and the crowd must have been glad to have the two best players in the world squaring off in this final duel of 2012.

2. Delpo Tries His Hardest but Cannot Win a Set

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    Each set in this quarterfinal was enjoyable. However, the second set was key (much like in the Llodra and Tsonga matches displayed earlier in the slideshow), as Juan Martin del Potro could not power through Nole's defenses.

    Delpo had a chance to serve out the second set but even when going on an aggressive rampage of smacking forehands and backhands, Djokovic was always there to block the balls back.

    This night match was of the highest quality but ended in a fairly one-sided scoreline.

    Djokovic would move on to the semifinals, winning against David Ferrer in four sets.

    Nole's run at the 2012 US Open ended in a five-set match in the final against Andy Murray, who was able to win his first Major.

1. Federer (Somehow) Loses in Straight Sets

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    This semifinal match, along with their 2008 and 2011 Australian Open encounters, all ended in very entertaining and enjoyable straight-set wins for the Serb.

    Roger had many chances to do damage in all of these matches but fell short time and time again at these two Majors in particular.

    In the second set of this match, Djokovic won more than half of his games just by breaking his opponent's serve (which he was able to do four times).

    Federer was even up a double break early in that second set but fell apart quite rapidly (this habit has been seen in many of his matches against Nole and Rafa).

    Still, the match was very fun for spectators and this rivalry will likely continue to produce such mouth-watering entertainment. Hopefully for viewers, the matches will not always have straight-set endings.


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