The ATP has just published what they believe to be the two best ATP World Tour matches in 2018 as part of their season review series.
Both matches include Federer and they're both losses; the Indian Wells final against Del Potro and the Paris Masters Semi Final loss to Djokovic.
In response, I thought I'd pick out my Top 5 matches of 2018. You can also vote on yours at the end and point out if you think I've missed any.
Remember these are my own personal favourite matches that I enjoyed the most in 2018, not necessarily the most important or meaningful 🙂
Federer Defeats Bemelmans 6-1, 6-2, Rotterdam 1st Round
Match time: 47 minutes
Why I picked it: Everyone likes a quickie from time to time
I'll start with what was Roger's easiest day at work of the year when he took down Bemelmans in 47 minutes for the loss of just three games.
One-sided beatdowns can often be dull to watch; Nadal does it by beating his opponent into submission, Djokovic does it with metronomic precision but Fed's swashbuckling style means this type of match is still great to watch as he makes it look truly effortless.
In fact, Bemelmans didn't even play poorly, he just got blown away by the pace that Roger played at. The whole thing happened in the blink of an eye.
Federer Defeats Coric 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, Indian Wells Semi Final
Match time: 2 hours 21 minutes
Why I picked it: It's the reverse of the Bemelmans match, all about grinding out the win
One of Roger's toughest matches of 2018. It was one where he didn't play well but somehow came out on top. This was the first match he had started at 11 am since 2006 and he struggled throughout with Coric dominating from the baseline.
Somehow though he found a way to win despite losing service twice in the decider and being 3-4 and a break down. Classic fighterer.
Federer defeats Mannarino 6-0, 7-5, 6-4. Wimbledon 4th Round
Match time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Why I picket it: I watched it courtside
I was lucky enough to see this match live and Roger played great. It looked like he was fine form based on this, so it was all rather surprising when he lost to Anderson next round.
In winning he was on an 81 service hold streak and had won 31 sets in a row at SW19. This match turned out to be his best performance of the Championship and it was great to see his racquet head speed from closeup against a tricky opponent in Mannarino.
Federer defeats Nishikori 6-4, 7-6(4), Shanghai Quarter Final
Match time: 1 hour 52 minutes
Why I picked it One of Roger's best matches in the second half of the season where he was genuinely aggressive from start to finish.
After a disappointing US Hard Court Swing Roger came into Shanghai off the back off a Laver Cup victory and had to come through two very tricky matches against Medvedev and Bautista Agut before meeting Nishikori.
The Japanese had looked in good form heading in but Roger put in a hyper-aggressive performance to win through, fighting off a mini-comeback from Nishikori in set two and landing back to back aces in the tie-break to seal one of his more memorable matches from the second half of the season.
Djokovic defeats Federer 7-6(6), 5-7, 7-6(3), Paris Masters Semi Final
Match time: 3 hours 2 minutes
Why I picked it: A classic match between the pair that could have gone either way and showcased how well their styles match up.
The only loss on my list. This was just a great match from both guys and for a neutral what a great advert for tennis. In some ways neither player was at their best; Djokovic was under the weather with a cold and Roger was still having a bit of a confidence crisis (plus the hand issue we don't know much about) but they still produced a match for the ages that had a bit of everything and the crowd loved it.
Why no Cilic Australian Open Final?!
Because these are my favourite matches of 2018. Not favourite moments of 2018. The result was easily one of the best moments, but the match itself not that special 🙂
Pick Your 5 Favourite Matches of 2018
To pick your favourite matches, open the toggle below and select your five favourites (no more, no less). They're in reverse chronological order. I'll post the results in a few days!
The results are in and you can see them below. There were 29 matches in total that received at least one vote. 78 people voted in total. And the top 3 matches were in 50% or more of everyone's selection.
|Match||Number of Picks|
|Roger Federer def. Kei Nishikori, Shanghai||42|
|Roger Federer def. Nick Kyrgios, US Open||42|
|Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer, Bercy||39|
|Roger Federer def. Marin Cilic, Australian Open||33|
|Roger Federer def. Robin Haase, Rotterdam||27|
|Roger Federer def. Borna Coric, Indian Wells||24|
|Roger Federer def. Tomas Berdych, Australian Open||21|
|Roger Federer def. Milos Raonic, Stuttgart||18|
|Juan Martin del Potro def. Roger Federer, Indian Wells||15|
|Roger Federer def. Grigor Dimitrov, Rotterdam||15|
|Federer def. Anderson, World Tour Finals||12|
|Roger Federer def. Adrian Mannarino, Wimbledon||12|
|Roger Federer def. Nick Kyrgios, Stuttgart||12|
|Roger Federer def. Alexander Zverev, Hopman Cup||12|
|Roger Federer def. Marius Copil, Basel||9|
|Roger Federer def. John Isner, Laver Cup||9|
|Roger Federer def. Stan Wawrinka, Cincinnati||6|
|Roger Federer def. Ruben Bemelmans, Rotterdam||6|
|Belinda Bencic & Roger Federer def. Angelique Kerber & Alexander Zverev, Hopman Cup||6|
|Roger Federer def. Dominic Thiem, World Tour Finals||3|
|Roger Federer def. Kei Nishikori, Bercy||3|
|Roger Federer def. Daniil Medvedev, Basel||3|
|Roger Federer def. Nick Kyrgios, Laver Cup||3|
|Roger Federer def. Yoshihito Nishioka, US Open||3|
|Borna Coric def. Roger Federer, Halle||3|
|Roger Federer def. Benoit Paire, Halle||3|
|Roger Federer def. Hyeon Chung, Indian Wells||3|
|Roger Federer def. Hyeon Chung, Australian Open||3|
|Roger Federer def. Richard Gasquet, Australian Open||3|