December 29th, 2010
05:03 PM ET

What were the top tennis moments of 2010?

This year, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled out the longest match in tennis history.
This year, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut battled out the longest match in tennis history.

As the end of 2010 is upon us, I thought I'd share with you my top 10 tennis moments of the year. It has been a year of change in the sport, with the women's game more open than ever, while the balance of power has once again swung Rafa Nadal's way in the men's game.

These are my 10 for 2010 – I hope you agree with them!

10. Roger Federer won the Australian Open in January. His crushing victory over Andy Murray extended his record major tally to 16. The Swiss maestro looked set to dominate the year again, but then...

9. The Indo-Pax express did much more than just reach a major doubles final at the U.S. Open for the first time. Rohan Bopanna and Aisam Qureshi hit the headlines for promoting peace between their two rival countries by playing together. There was no "Hollywood" ending though as they were edged out for the title by the record-setting Bryan Brothers. (Mike and Bob have now won an all-time high 62 career doubles titles.)

8. Novak Djokovic saved two match-points against Roger Federer in the U.S. Open semifinal, before coming through in five sets and thereby preventing the first Nadal/Federer grand slam final of the year.

7. In her comeback, Justine Henin threatened to "do a Clijsters" as she marched to the final of the Australian Open. Unfortunately for the Belgian, she ran into a familiar foe, Serena Williams –- who also won Wimbledon.

6. Kim Clijsters won her third straight U.S. Open in less than an hour. After clinching the title for the first time in 2006 she was injured the following year and then retired. After returning, she won in New York in 2009 and then again in September. That means she’s on a 21-match winning streak at Flushing Meadows. Not bad for one of the nicest women in tennis!

5. At the tender age of 29, Francesca Schiavone showed us there was life in the old girl yet by lifting the French Open title in Paris in June. She completed a marvellous breakthrough year by also helping Italy to the Fed Cup in November, beating the U.S. in the final for the second year in a row.

4. Serbia's men won the Davis Cup for the first time after a thrilling final against France in Belgrade. Viktor Troicki, my up-and-comer of the year, was the hero. After losing a great doubles rubber along with Nenad Zimonjic which lasted over four and a half hours, he came back the next day and thrashed Michael Llodra in impressive fashion in the deciding rubber to hand Serbia the title.

3. Victoria Azarenka dramatically collapsed on court at the U.S. Open. The Belarusian was touted to go far in the year’s final major, but had to be taken to hospital during the second round. At first the searing weather was given as the reason. Then came the news that the 21-year-old had hit her head in the gym beforehand and had suffered a concussion.

2. Rafael Nadal won the U.S. Open by beating Novak Djokovic in a great final to complete the career grand-slam. The Spaniard changed the grip on his serve just two days before the tournament began, and only dropped serve five times in seven matches. Nadal won the final three majors of 2010 and finished as the undisputed world number one.

1. John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in a mere 11 hours at Wimbledon. The longest match in tennis history will surely remain in the record books forever. Having said that, though, the two will meet at the Hopman Cup in January. If you’re going to watch, take an overnight bag!

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Filed under:  Tennis
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. vandygrad95

    Hi Candy, love the article. I agree with all except Vika at number 3 collapsing. I probably would have gone with Roger beating Rafa (and everyone else) at the 2010 Atp World Finals in London and perhaps foreshadowing the kind of year he may have in 2011 under his new coach.

    December 30, 2010 at 2:48 am | Reply
  2. Pete

    Nice article, who could forget the marathon match, what a great game.

    December 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  3. Sachiko

    I started watching live Isner-Mahut match since 5th set when score was about 6-6, remember what a exciting and wonderful moment to watch score swelling game by game and wonder how far it would reach. very impressed with straightforward effort by two players and also chair umpire Mohamed Layani, his concentration and professionalism was amazing.

    By the way I always appreciate your great tennis article, look forward to it next year as well and wish you a happy new year 🙂

    December 31, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  4. eric

    I liked the fact that Federer came back so strongly after a tough 2009

    December 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  5. David

    Nice article, but in point 8 where you state that Djokovic denied the first Nadal/Federer final of the year, however Nadal and Federer met in the Madrid Masters Final earlier that year.

    January 1, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  6. Henri

    it was indeed a banner year for the sport. and i love that you have chosen the isner-mahut match as the top tennis moment. i simply admire both of them for their strength and dedication, it was just that someone had to lose.

    January 2, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  7. Don

    Very good, as usual. I'd say that you were pretty much dead on. It makes me eager to see what 2011 will bring. I would love to see you get a one hour special to go into real detail.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  8. Al

    That Isner/Mahut match was mad. I thought it would never end. It was a bi like watching test match cricket. I kept flicking over to see what the latest score was.

    January 3, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
  9. Malka

    The Isner/Mahut match captivated the whole world, absolutely amazing! And always good to see dubs get some love. Bopanna and Qureshi use their achievements for so much more outside of the game; and the Bryans breaking the Woodies' record is incredibly impressive. Excellent Top 10 List! 2010 was a stellar year for tennis and there are plenty of great story lines to follow as we begin 2011.

    January 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  10. Richard Yoshiko & Amy

    Hi Candy
    We agree with your summary of 2010. Roll on 2011. We're currently waiting to see if we will be getting tickets for Wimbledon this year????
    All the best for the New Year.

    January 3, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Reply
  11. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    India's rising star Somdev winning the CWG and Asian Games singles gold medals were huge achievements for the tennis star and his legion of admirers in India and beyond.

    January 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply

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