Top 5 Grand Slam men's singles matches of 2019
For the first time since 2011, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal swept all the four Grand Slam tournaments on the calendar. While Djokovic won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the same year for the third time in his career (also 2011 and 2015), Nadal won the French Open-US Open double for the 4th time (also 2010, 2013 and 2017).
In a season which witnessed the arrival of the Next Gen on the big stage, with Stefanos Tsitsipas dethroning reigning two-time Australian Open winner Roger Federer in the fourth round en route to a maiden Slam semifinal (lost to Nadal) and Daniil Medvedev reaching a maiden Slam final at the US Open (lost to Nadal), the Big 3 of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal extended their consecutive Grand Slam win-streak to 12.
It was an emphatic statement of intent from the three most decorated Grand Slam singles champions in the men's game. Grand Slam success is the real deal, and the Big 3 have excelled at it more than anybody else.
Since Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in the summer of 2003, the the three have won 55 of the 66 Grand Slam titles on offer. Only three-time winners Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, along with Andy Roddick (2003 US Open), Gaston Gaudio (2004 French Open), Marat Safin (2005 Australian Open), Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open) and Marin Cilic (2014 US Open) have managed to win a Grand Slam title during the period 2003 Wimbledon to 2019 US Open.
As with any other Grand Slam year, 2019 had its fair share of epic matches. Let us have a look at the five best men's singles Grand Slam matches of the year:
#5 2019 Australian Open 3R: Marin Cilic beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3
Following respective wins over Bernard Tomic and Mackenzie McDonald in the first two rounds, 2018 Australian Open runner-up Marin Cilic faced his first real test in the third round when he ran into 2009 semifinalist Fernando Verdasco.
The left-handed Spaniard rolled back the years as he streaked to a seemingly commanding two-set lead, and Cilic was staring down the barrel.
Only six times in his career had Cilic won a match after overcoming a two-set deficit. The Croat began the comeback by taking the third set 6-1.
In a pulsating fourth set tiebreak, Cilic found himself a match point down. He saved it with a service winner but Verdasco earned a second one, and this time it was on his own serve. However, the Spanish veteran failed to land a serve in the court as he went on to lose the set 8-10 in the tiebreak.
With the momentum now firmly in his favour, Cilic breezed to a 3-0 lead in the decider and never looked back. He completed his seventh comeback from two sets down to seal a return to the second week of the Australian Open.