First of all, I would like to say that I am writing this article now, rather than in late 2009 and early 2010 because it has just dawned on me of the terrible matches lately in the later rounds of Grand Slams. There can be early-round thrillers, but it is rare to have a late-tourney thriller. Even though I have an order of the matches, these matches were such epics I could barely choose between them.
1. 2005 Wimbledon Final Venus Williams-Lindsay Davenport
4-6 7-6(4) 9-7. Four records were set in that score line: Longest Wimbledon final (time), longest Wimbledon third set (games), first person to rally from match point down in about 70 years (Venus), lowest seeded player to win Wimbledon (14th, Venus, broken in 2007). It was called the titanic battle. The crowd was crazy over this match, which is considered the best women's match of all time.
2. 2009 Wimbledon Semifinal Serena Williams-Elena Dementieva
After the match, Richard Williams was bowing to Serena, and how could he resist? After all, Serena saved a match point to beat Dementieva in a Centre Court thriller 6-7(4), 7-5, 8-6. It was also the longest semifinal match in women's history at the All England Call. This match couldn't be better. It had incredible rallies, momentum swings, comebacks, and the atmosphere was unbelievable.
3. 2003 US Open Semifinal Justine Henin-Jennifer Capriati
Justine Henin was 10 times two points away from defeat. In one of the US Open's most thrilling matches, Henin finally came from behind to beat Jennifer Capriati 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(4). The people in the crowd were just amazed of the high quality tennis. Trust me, you can't really get a better match than this one.
4. 2000 US Open Semifinal Venus Williams-Martina Hingis
With every point, you could here the crowd chanting the player's name in Venus's win of thee 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 match. Long, enthralling rallies. That was the whole match. Three of those rallies fit in my book of "the best tennis points of all time." Point after point, the two battled it out, and there was nothing between the two.
Hingis was just two points away from winning, could have had two match points if she finished off an overhead...on and on it goes. The fans made the atmosphere even more special, and never before and never since has the spectators been more into a match.
5. 2005 Australian Open Semifinal Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova
Serena jumped up into the air after she one the 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 match (and Serena JUMPS. She can't hop). She saved three match points. I have recently watched the highlight reel on YouTube, and it was just tremendous shot-making from the two athletes.
It also adds to the fact the Mary Carillo was always biased toward Sharapova until the tail end of the match, and it just made me so happy that "Bonehead Mary" was proven wrong, again.
6. 2001 US Open Quarterfinal Serena Williams-Lindsay Davenport
It was such a slugfest that nobody wanted the match to end. People were griping about how they wished the match ended in a tiebreak, but it was close. The final score? 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-5. These to big hitters brought on what people call "Big Babe Tennis." That was the epitome of what a classic should be.
7. 2000 Wimbledon Quarterfinal Venus Williams- Martina Hingis
It wasn't the closest of all matches, but it still was a classic. 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in favor of Venus. The level was amazing from both players, and Hingis brought out a lot of magic to face Venus, but still couldn't prevail. Hingis once hit a lob and Venus smashed into the open court, but Hingis anticipated and somehow created the forehand passing shot off of the smash.
Hingis, at one point, even hit a one-handed backhand down the line for a winner. But eventually, it was the offensive that prevailed, which of course, was Venus.
8. 2004 US Open Quarterfinal Jennifer Capriati-Serena Williams
Who could forget this match? And who could forget the ridiculous line calls made? Especially the overrule from chair umpire Marianna Alves, which was of a ball that landed inside the court. It didn't even touch a line.
Many say this was a major factor of using Hawk-Eye. In the end, the two firepower players had to have a winner, and it was Capriati who won 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
9. 2002 Australian Open Final Jennifer Capriati-Martina Hingis
Some may call this an epic choke from Hingis, but I disagree. Hingis just proved, like most counter-punchers today, that she didn't want to lose, more than she wanted to win. Capriati saved match points in this nail-biting match 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-2. And if you looked at Hingis closely, you could tell that she never wanted to play Capriati again.
10. 2006 Wimbledon Final Amelie Mauresmo-Justine Henin.
With the Williams sisters out of the way, it was Mauresmo and Henin to battle it out. These two were before good friends, but ever since the Australian Open final that year, which Maursemo won after Henin retired, the two never gave a smile to each other.
Henin was the favourite, but Maursemo composed her early jitters to beat Henin in classic serve-and-volley tennis 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
*The Williams Sisters are involved in most of the matches here! Doesn't that show just how good they are?