Quarter-finals. This is the round that the most time-valuing, time-pressed, or quality-particular of us skip and perhaps not care about at all. However, forgo them at our peril we do, for some of these matches are some of the best in tennis history. Here are 3 of them.
Federer v Tsonga (Wimbledon 2011)
In this five-set thriller, a unexpected Wimbledon wimbledon semi-finalist stunned the then favourite and six-time champion Roger Federer. The misery for Federer was made worse by the fact that the loss came a year after his first pre-final exit at Wimbledon only a year ago, to Tomas Berdych during the quarter-finals. The exceptional standards of play for both players apart, the match was also exceptional for the incredible jump-forehand shot of Tsonga which broke Federer in the third set, and thus could be considered the decisive turning point of the match. An incredible shot miraculously played at such fitting at moment!
Federer v Monfils (US Open 2014)
This was Monfils at his very best against a newly resurgent Federer. Federer's loss of the first two sets was not due to any fault of his at all - in fact his defences were solid, and his offensive abilities were remarkable as usual. What was remarkable about the first two sets was Monfils' performance during them. The rocket forehand was put to such frequent use it could be said that this was one of the very rare moments in which Monfils plays in an offensive state. However, champions adapt when the going changes, and the reaction from Federer in the last three, seen most evidently in the ramping up of his aggressiveness, put Monfils in his place in the end despite his brilliance. A wonderful match this is for anyone who enjoys watching spectacular shot-making.
Murray v Verdasco (Wimbledon 2013)
Imagine Murray not being in the final of Wimbledon 2013. This in fact arguably very nearly happened at the quarter-finals between him and Verdasco. Verdasco was playing at one his most brilliant - this match was one very rare moment, in that Verdasco was emotionally composed throughout the match. The only other match that I could think of in which Verdasco stayed consistently composed, was the 2009 Australian Open semi-final against Nadal. His shot-making ability was exceptional - the weirdly-spinned lefty forehands, the dangerous serves and unexpected baseline-to-baseline ground-stroke drives. It was for no reason the best defender in the game (arguably, for it is a position contested three ways) lost the first two sets on home turf. The match was however turned around in similar fashion to the Federer-Monfils match previously mentioned - the extension of the match allowing for more brilliant shot-making to be displayed within the match. Apart from the quality of play, it was also this plot twist contributed a major role in making the match 'great'.
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