Tennis fans were treated to some scintillating action on the courts this year and we thought we’d compile a list of some the best clashes of 2017.
US Open round 1, Maria Sharapova defeats Simona Halep 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
Sharapova cut a controversial figure this year, earning a red carpet return to the sport following her doping ban. Needless to say, the spotlight was firmly on the Russian as she featured in her first slam since the 15-month hiatus.
Sharapova was drawn against second seed Halep who had been playing some of the best tennis of her life in 2017. But Sharapova thrives on the big stage and despite going down in the second set, she rallied to pick up arguably the biggest win since her return and her first at Flushing Meadows since 2014.
Spare a thought for Halep, who is yet to beat Sharapova in six attempts.
Australian Open Final, Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
A battle for the ages. Federer had come off a six month injury layoff and expected little from the years opening grand slam, but then he found himself up against his old rival.
Ever the fighter, Nadal battled back from two sets to one down to a 3-1 lead in the final set. The Melbourne crowd, almost always supporting the underdog, seemed to lift Federer as he stormed past a tiring Nadal, who was feeling the effects of his four hour semi-final. A sultry forehand after an epic 26-shot rally seemed to give the Swiss even more belief that a comeback was on the cards.
Following the winning moment, an emotional Federer shed tears on the Rod Laver Arena, his first since losing to Nadal at the same venue in 2009.
Best moment in 2017…!!??????No one thought this will happen. Coming back from a break down in 5th set,was magical from #Federer #AusOpen Wont forget this moment forever..!! @AustralianOpen @rogerfederer pic.twitter.com/AFFOeVQ9rp
— Pranav Swaroop (@ImP_Fedal) November 20, 2017
A NEW GENERATION
Miami Open quarter-final, Nick Kyrgios defeats Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7, 6-3.
For all his antics, Nick Kyrgios is a supremely talented player when he wants to be. And in Miami, the Australian was dead set on giving his best against a fellow rising star.
The match was intense, with emotions from both young guns running high. The Kyrgios serve was firing on all cylinders and he would not even face a breakpoint. Zverev fought hard though, saving three match points in the dying embers of the clash before Kyrgios struck the final blow.
The match itself was perhaps a sign of things to come on the ATP Tour, as the next generation gathers steam.
US Open quarter-final, Juan Martin del Potro defeats Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
The lanky Argentine has endured a rocky road. Three wrist surgeries and a number of injuries have lead to s stop-start career, but del Potro just keeps coming back.
At the scene of his 2009 US Open win, del Potro would upset Federer once more, helped by a large group of fellow countryman in the stands. The clutch moment came in the third set tiebreak, where del Potro saved four set points to steal the set away from Federer.
His powerful forehand continued to clean the lines and del Potro rode the wave of momentum through to a memorable victory with chants of ‘Ole’ echoing around Flushing meadows.
THE GRUDGE MATCH
WTA Madrid round 2, Eugenie Bouchard defeats Maria Sharapova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4.
Bouchard was one of the more outspoken players criticising Sharapova over her positive drug test, labelling her a cheater and suggesting she be banned for life.
As such, the hype train was charging full steam ahead when the duo were set to face each other in Madrid. Thankfully, they delivered, as the standard of the clash remained incredibly high throughout the match despite the palpable tension.
Unfortunately for Bouchard, she was never able to replicate that kind of form for the rest of the year, showing just what the right kind of motivation can do on court.
Did we leave out your favourite match of 2017 out? Let us know in the comments!