Angie Kerber defeats Serena Williams 64 36 64 – Australian Open final
It was a great effort on Kerber’s part to reach the final but for many there were two thoughts that led to predictions of a Williams win: 1. Kerber’s mind had been suspect in big matches through her career 2. After the disappointment of losing the 2015 US Open, Williams would be too focused and especially so after winning the second set. Kerber, who had saved a match point in the first round, proved everyone wrong. It was a significant match all round.
Roger Federer defeats Marin Cilic 67 46 63 76 63 – Wimbledon quarterfinals
This was by far one of the great matches of the year if not the best of the year. Cilic was up two sets to love and Federer came back to win after saving three break points in the third set and then three match points in the fourth set. It was a match that the “great one” described as “epic” and rated it as one of the best of his entire career. The tennis played was quite extraordinary to watch.
Sam Querrey defeats Novak Djokovic 76 61 36 76 – Wimbledon third round
This is arguably the greatest upset by an American male player in the last 25 years. It marked the first time Djokovic had lost at the majors since Roland Garros 2015 and his earliest loss at the majors since Roland Garros 2009. Querrey had snapped Djokovic’s 30 match win streak at the majors. Querrey advanced to the fourth round of a majors for only the fourth time. Djokovic was struggling with off-court issues but the result was the start of a disappointing second half by his standards.
Andy Murray defeats Juan Martin Del Potro 75 46 62 75 – Olympics final
This match may not have always had the absolute best points played but it certainly had its fair share of brilliance. However it was the atmosphere and the emotion that surrounded that match that sent it onto another level. It could be regarded as the best four set matches of the year. Significance was Murray winning a second consecutive Olympic gold which had never been done before and the fact that Delpo had stamped his mark again.
Monica Puig defeats Angie Kerber 64 46 61 – Olympics final
There were traces of the former Kerber in this match; signs of serves while Puig who was totally overlooked as a potential medallist let alone being a gold medallist, shocked all by staying firm to become an Olympic champion. The emotion was worth the price of the ticket and the little territory of Puerto Rico had the Olympic tennis champion. It was a significant because it made her career and she was named Female Athlete of the Games.
Barbora Strycova defeats Alize Cornet 62 76 – Fed Cup by BNP Paribas final
I was tossing up between this match and the one that Karolina Pliskova won over Kiki Mladenovic that ended 16-14 in the third but I selected this clash as it was incredibly significant. This was a huge clash because France was up 2-1 on the final day. It was a stunning atmosphere at the arena in Stasbourg and Strycova was a late substitute. She beat Cornet which kept the Czechs alive and they went on to win the Cup.
Andy Murray defeats Novak Djokovic 63 64 – ATP World Tour Finals final
Murray had the world No.1 ranking (got it at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris-Bercy) which was significant in itself but in this instance the year-end world No.1 was at stake and it came down to the last match of the regular season. It was a tame score line but the pressure on Murray was great but he rose to the occasion. He became the first year-end No.1other than Federer, Nadal or Djokovic since 2003. Murray ended the year with nine titles.
Juan Martin Del Potro defeats Marin Cilic 67 26 75 64 63 – Davis Cup by BNP Paribas final
This is probably the match that would rival the Federer-Cilic clash at Wimbledon for match of the year. This was glorious tennis to witness. Cilic put Croatia a set away from a second Davis Cup title but with a hard-to-equal atmosphere, Delpo turned the match around. It was a must win match like at the final of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. It was the first time Del Potro won from two set to love down. With the tie going to the fifth Federico Delbonis clinched Argentina’s first ever Davis Cup, but if not for a sobbing Delpo that would never have happened.