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Ricky’s Top 10 Tennis Men’s ATP Matches Of 2019 • Nos. 6 through 10 — Including Thiem vs. Federer

By Ricky Dimon

Before we delve into looking ahead toward the 2020 season, we must look back on what transpired in 2019. Thus it is time for a breakdown of the Top 10 Men’s Matches of the Year, in this case chosen by Ricky, starting with Nos. 6-10.

Let’s take a look.

10) French Open SemiFinal : Dominic Thiem d. Novak Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5

In terms of quality, the video of this match may not belong in the Smithsonian. But given the conditions (namely absurd windiness), both players did extremely well to put on a great show. It was a positively wild one, a five-setter in brutal conditions that lasted two days–suspended due to either wind, rain, darkness, or Djokovic prematurely leaving the grounds…. Nobody can be sure of the exact reason why it was postponed from Friday to Saturday! Whatever the case, Thiem failed to close out the fourth set upon the resumption of play but managed to survive in five after a total of four hours and 13 minutes.

9) Indian Wells F: Dominic Thiem d. Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

Federer was seeking to go one step further in the desert than he had gone in 2018, when he held multiple championship points against Juan Martin Del Potro only to lose a heartbreaking final. The Swiss was a considerable favorite against Thiem, who had never been especially adept on hard courts. But the 2019 Indian Wells Masters proved to be an indicator of things to come for the Austrian. He stunned Federer in an entertaining three-setter and eventually captured 500-point hard-court titles in Beijing and Vienna in addition to a runner-up performance at the Nitto ATP Finals.

8) Nitto ATP Finals : Stefanos Tsitsipas d. Dominic Thiem 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4)

Speaking of the Nitto ATP Finals, it produced a fitting end to both the tournament and the season. Entertaining matches were the story of the week in London, and the final was no exception. Thiem defeated both Federer and Djokovic on his way to championship Sunday, while Tsitsipas beat Federer and lost a thriller against Rafael Nadal. In the title match, Thiem survived a barnburner of an opening set only to see Tsitsipas storm back. The Greek eventually triumphed in a third-set tiebreaker after two hours and 36 minutes.

7) Washington SemiFinal : Nick Kyrgios d. Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(7)

Not unlike the Acapulco event earlier in the season, Kyrgios made the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. one of the most memorable tournaments of 2019. The good Kyrgios was on display almost the entire week, with mostly fine behavior (aside from a few exceptions), outstanding tennis, and fun interactions with the crowd. He even delivered an extra pair of shoes to his opponent–Tsitsipas–during this epic semifinal. Both players won exactly 91 points, so it only made sense that it had to be decided by a final-set ‘breaker. Kyrgios, who fired 19 aces, served just a bit better when it mattered most.

6) Rome QuarterFinal : Novak Djokovic d. Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4

There was not enough Juan Martin Del Potro in our lives throughout this decade and he missed the second half of this season, but he at least managed to make it through the clay-court swing. One especially memorable performance came in Rome, where the Argentine got a look at two match points in the second set before Djokovic recovered to prevail in three hours and one minute. It was the second match of the day for each player during a rain-soaked week, thus ending after midnight on Friday. Del Potro struck 12 aces, double-faulted only once, and saved nine of 11 break points. But it wasn’t quite enough against the then-world No. 1.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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