In an attempt to recapture the greatest tennis moments of the season, we will attempt to count down the top 10 matches that have captivated fans worldwide. Whether it be a Grand Slam contest, a early round upset, or simply a fantastic match between two worthy competitors, there is a broad selection of matches to choose from.
10. Andy Murray def. Roger Federer 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3 6-7(2) 6-2
We begin our countdown with Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and Andy Murray, who met for the 20th time on the tour in a contest that would be prove to be their most recent. In retrospect, it was also a telling match that foreshadowed the aged Federer, who would become the topic of conversation only a few months from then.
For Murray, this was an opportunity to reach his third Australian Open final, and considering the relief of winning his first Grand Slam title less than six months prior, many believed that Murray was capable of claiming the Melbourne title this year. The two competitors had split their four matches prior to that, and considering all those matches were competitive, this one was expected to be no different.
The contest lasted 240 minutes and was an entertaining affair as Murray twice took the lead in the match but was thwarted by the former No. 1, who twice battled back from a set down during the match. The Brit took the opening set 6-4 but lost the second set in a close tiebreak that ended 7-5. He rebounded quickly in the third set but was unable to close out the match in the fourth set and once again lost a tiebreak to his Swiss adversary.
With the exciting tiebreak closing out the fourth set, expectation were high heading into the final set. Federer had not been to an Australian Open final since 2010 when he last won the title. Sadly, it was an anti-climatic affair, as Murray would take an early lead and secure the set with Federer only winning two games in the final half an hour of the match. The win set up a highly anticipated match against then-world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in a rematch of the 2011 final.
The significance of this match extends past the on-court performances, as it was a sign of the contrasting trajectories that both Murray and Federer would be taking in the 2013 season. For Murray, it would only be a few months before he secures his place in history as the first British male champion at Wimbledon in 76 years. For Federer, this marked his best performance in a Grand Slam this year as he would not make it past the quarter-finals of any of the three remaining Slams.