Top 5 Grand Slam finals from the 2010s decade

Djokovic won his 15th Grand Slam of the 2010s decade at 2019 Wimbledon
Djokovic won his 15th Grand Slam of the 2010s decade at 2019 Wimbledon

The Big 3 of men's tennis - Novak Djokovic (15), Rafael Nadal (13) and Roger Federer (5) in that order - scooped up the bulk of the Grand Slam titles on offer in the decade that was 2010 to 2019.

Djokovic's epic win over Federer in the 2019 Wimbledon final from championship points down marked the Serb's 15th Grand Slam title in this period, which tied Federer's record of 15 Grand Slam titles in the 2000s.

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But it was the other member of tennis' famed Big 3 trifecta, Nadal, who recorded the best Grand Slam match wins record (160-16, 91%) during the 2010s decade. Nadal extended his record haul of titles at the French Open to 12 in 2019.

Federer, meanwhile, equaled the Spaniard's record for most Grand Slam finals at a tournament by reaching a 12th title match at 2019 Wimbledon.

Apart from the Big 3, only Andy Murray (3), Stan Wawrinka (3) and Marin Cilic (1) picked up Grand Slam titles during the 2010s decade. Wawrinka went 3/3 in his first 3 Slam finals before going down to Nadal in the 2017 French Open final, while Murray became the first player to go 0/5 in Australian Open finals when he lost to Djokovic in the 2016 title match.

During the decade, three finals at the Australian Open, none at the French Open, and two each at Wimbledon and the US Open went the distance. On that note, let us have a look at the five most memorable Grand Slam finals from the decade that was 2010 to 2019.

#5 2014 Wimbledon: Djokovic beat Federer 6-7(9), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4

Djokovic beat Federer for his second Wimbledon title in 2014
Djokovic beat Federer for his second Wimbledon title in 2014

Reaching his third Wimbledon final in four years, Djokovic faced seven-time champion Roger Federer in the 2014 title match. It was Federer's first foray to the title round at a Grand Slam in exactly two years, since the Swiss won a record-equaling seventh title at SW19.

In a competitive opening set, Federer saved two set points before winning a 9-7 tiebreak and taking first blood in his ninth Wimbledon final. The Swiss maestro then lost his serve for only the second time in the tournament as Djokovic broke to restore parity at a set apiece.

The third set, like the first, also did not feature any breaks of serve. In the ensuing tiebreak, it was the Serb who was the more clinical of the duo as he took a crucial two sets to one lead.

Leading 2-1 in the fourth, Djokovic broke for a 3-1 lead. Federer then broke Djokovic for the first time in the match to get back on serve, only to lose his own serve in the very next game.

The Serb consolidated his break for a 5-2 lead and stood a game away from the title. But Federer responded with a run of five games to force a decider, much to the delight of a capacity Wimbledon crowd eager to witness Federer lift a record eighth title at the tournament.

However, Federer failed to ride his momentum in the fifth, failing to convert a break point at 3-3. He saved two break points to hold for 4-4, and then sent an uncharacteristic overhead smash into the net which would have given him a 15-30 opening on the Djokovic serve.

Djokovic held for 5-4 and converted the first of two championships points in the next game on Federer's serve. In the process, he became the 11th player in the Open Era to win multiple Wimbledon titles, and the first to do so since Nadal (2008, 2010).


#4 2015 French Open: Stan Wawrinka beat Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4

Stanislas Wawrinka lifted his 2nd Grand Slam title at the 2015 French Open
Stanislas Wawrinka lifted his 2nd Grand Slam title at the 2015 French Open

Appearing in his first Slam final since his breakthrough at the 2014 Australian Open, Stan Wawrinka faced a dominant World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the title match at the 2015 French Open.

A year earlier, Wawrinka had made an opening round exit at the tournament while Djokovic had fallen to Nadal in his second attempt to win the career Grand Slam. Having made a fabulous 35-2 start to the season which included titles at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome, Djokovic was the odds-on favorite to win his maiden French Open title against a two-time Grand Slam finalist.

The Serb rode his pre-match momentum and took the opening set 6-4. But despite losing 17 of his previous 20 matches with Djokovic, it was the Wawrinka show which took centre-stage on Court Philippe Chatrier as Djokovic began to unravel under the onslaught of the Swiss' single-handed backhand.

Wawrinka began to puncture holes in Djokovic's baseline game as he broke to take the second set and make it a set apiece, and later took a two sets to one lead.

Not accustomed to the role of being the hunted, Djokovic made one last stand, taking the opening three games of the fourth. But there was no denying Wawrinka on the day.

The 'other Swiss' reeled off the next six games to become the 26th different player in the Open Era to triumph at Roland Garros. Djokovic thus fell short in his third final at the tournament, and a third attempt to win the career Grand Slam.

Incidentally, Wawrinka is also the 26th different winner in the Open Era at the US Open.


#3 2017 Australian Open: Federer beat Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Federer lifts his 5th Australian Open title in 2017
Federer lifts his 5th Australian Open title in 2017

Following the longest injury-enforced layoff of his professional career, the 2017 Australian Open was Roger Federer's first tournament since a five-set defeat to Milos Raonic in the semifinals at Wimbledon 2016.

Displaying understandable signs of rust, the Swiss maestro had to eke out five-set wins over Kei Nishikori in the fourth round and Stan Wawrinka in the semis to set up a Grand Slam final meeting with his arch-rival Rafael Nadal for the first time since the 2011 French Open.

It was the man from Switzerland who made the brighter start by taking the opening set 6-4, but Nadal responded with two breaks in the second to make it a set apiece. Federer saved three break points in his opening game of the third with as many aces, and that would prove crucial as the Swiss went on to take the set 6-1.

However, Federer failed to ride his momentum, losing his serve twice in the fourth as Nadal forced a fifth set. After taking a brief medical time-out, Federer returned on court and fell behind 3-1 as his Grand Slam woes of old against the Spaniard began to resurface.

But on the day, Federer was destined to write his own script. He reeled off five games on the trot to record his first win over Nadal at a Grand Slam since the 2007 Wimbledon final, in the process ending his 4.5-year Grand Slam drought.

In a hugely successful season, Federer would also win a record eighth title at Wimbledon to win multiple Slams in a year for the first time since 2009.


#2 2012 Australian Open: Djokovic beat Nadal 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5

Djokovic beats Nadal in the longest ever Grand Slam final at the 2012 Australian Open
Djokovic beats Nadal in the longest ever Grand Slam final at the 2012 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic beat a determined Andy Murray in a five-set semifinal to record his 400th singles match win. That enabled him to return to the Australian Open title match for the second time in as many seasons, where Rafael Nadal lay in wait.

In an attritional opening set, Nadal gained the upper hand in a grueling baseline rally to break Djokovic and take the set 7-5. Djokovic upped the ante, breaking the Nadal serve twice in the next two sets to take a 2 sets to 1 lead.

Djokovic would stand to rue squandering a 0-40 opportunity on Nadal's serve in the ninth game of the set, and then a 5-3 lead in the ensuing tiebreak. The Spaniard reeled off four points in a row to force a decider, as the final moved into a fifth hour.

It was Nadal who made the first move in the decider, breaking Djokovic for a 4-2 lead, but he failed to consolidate the break as the Serb broke back. Both players were now stretched to their absolute physical limits, as was evidenced by Djokovic falling to the court following an exhausting 31-point rally in the opening point of the ninth game.

Djokovic's moment seemed to have passed as Nadal saved a break point to lead 5-4.

But in the longest ever Grand Slam final at 5 hours and 53 minutes, the Serb drew on the innermost recesses of his physical and mental reserves. Djokovic won the next three games of the match to deny Nadal the opportunity of becoming the first player in the Open Era to win each of the four Grand Slams on multiple occasions, and in the process also recording his first successful title defence at a Major.


#1 2019 Wimbledon: Djokovic beat Federer 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-6(4), 4-6, 13-12(4)

Djokovic lifts his 5th Wimbledon title in 2019
Djokovic lifts his 5th Wimbledon title in 2019

Four hours and 10 minutes into the 2019 Wimbledon men's singles final, Roger Federer had broken Novak Djokovic at 7-7 in the fifth, served up consecutive aces, and arrived at 40-15 with two championship points. Two championship points on serve, to be more specific.

One swing of the racquet separated Federer from a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title and a 21st Grand Slam. A 15,000-strong partisan Centre Court Crowd waited with bated anticipation for this very moment. Television and mobile phone cameras primed up to capture the slice of history. The much loved Federer was on the cusp of another Wimbledon title, 16 long years after he had captured his first.

A wide forehand from Federer drew collective groans. First championship point squandered.

The Swiss seemingly made the right play on the second, attacking the Djokovic forehand and venturing into forecourt, hoping to seal the point, the match and the title with a volley into an open court.

Djokovic though had other ideas. A rasping crosscourt pass tantalizingly eluded Federer's racquet and skimmed the sideline.

Deuce. Two championship points had come and gone. Two points later, it was eight games all.

The moment had come and gone in a flash for Federer. Centre Court descended into stunned silence.

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To his credit though, the Swiss stayed strong on serve, and laid siege on the Djokovic serve again in the 23rd game of the set. At 11 games all, Djokovic led 40-0, only to be reeled back by Federer, who forced two break points.

The partisan crowd roared in approval again. Another opportunity loomed for Federer to break Djokovic and serve for the championship for a second time. But yet again, Djokovic slammed the door shut.

Federer held serve to hold for 12 games all.

The Wimbledon final now ventured into uncharted territory. For the first time in the history of the tournament, there wouldn't be a timeless fifth set. And for the third time in the match, Federer lost a tiebreak; Djokovic broke many a Centre Court heart to become the first player since the Swiss himself to lift five titles at the grasscourt Major.

On the day, Federer could not have played a better match. He edged the Serb in most of the stats like first serve points won, second serve points won, aces, break points converted, but it mattered not in the eventual scheme of things as Djokovic dug deep to hang around with the Swiss before winning all three tiebreaks.

A match which could have ended at the four-hour mark instead became the longest Wimbledon final at 4 hours and 57 minutes, as Federer suffered his fourth final defeat at his 'home' Slam.


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