Top five French Open matches

Sports Mole considers five of the best matches to have taken place at the French Open.

The 2014 French Open is currently going to plan for the master of clay Rafael Nadal. He remains the big favourite to win his ninth title in 10 years and once more looks unstoppable on his favourite surface. Even with Nadal cleaning up for so many years, the Open era has actually produced a number of epic contests at Roland Garros. Here, Sports Mole rounds up five of our favourites.


1. Mats Wilander 1-6, 7-6, 6-0, 6-4 Guillermo Vilas - 1982 final

The greatest tennis underdog stories are those that involve an unseeded player going all the way to the title. It does not happen often, and even less so in the modern day, but Mats Wilander did just that in the 1982 French Open. The final against the heavily fancied Guillermo Vilas is perhaps not the greatest match of all time as, after the first set, Wilander made light work of his opponent, but the story is fantastic. He was just 17 and on the way knocked out Ivan Lendl in the fourth round.


2. Michael Chang 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 Ivan Lendl - 1989 fourth round

Wins from two sets down are always great spectacles, but to become the youngest ever winner of the French Open after knocking out the highly-rated second seed Ivan Lendl is quite an achievement. Chang refused to be beaten, refused to give Lendl the respect he needed having taken the opening two sets and battled his way to a thrilling win in five thanks to some unorthodox underhand serves. The match lasted four hours and 37 minutes and to some people is the most exciting match ever to have taken place at the French Open.


3. Andre Agassi 1-6 2-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 Andrei Medvedev - 1999 final

It is just as well that men's tennis lasts for five sets, otherwise the world would never have been given this classic match at the French Open. Agassi had twice been a beaten finalist early in the 1990s in France but he had another shot in 1999 against Andrei Medvedev. Somehow, despite going two sets down before he could blink, the American battled back to claim an unlikely win in order to complete the set of four. It was his one and only victory at the tournament, but would go down as one of his all-time great wins.


4. Rafael Nadal 6-1 6-3 6-0 Roger Federer - 2008 final

This match signalled the point at which Nadal overtook Federer as the best player in the world, perhaps not officially but in most experts' opinions. Of course, chasing his fourth straight Roland Garros crown, Nadal was the favourite for the 2008 final, but the manner of victory was something that stunned anyone who had watched Federer even once over the years. The Spaniard blew away his great rival in one of the most one-sided deciders in history to make it 3-2 in Grand Slam finals.


5. Monica Seles 6-2 3-6 10-8 Steffi Graf - 1992 final

If this script had been written rather than played out Steffi Graf would have been celebrating the 1992 French Open title. Instead, it was Monica Seles who won her third in a row in an epic contest in Paris. Graf had come back from a set down to level matters, but saved her best tennis for a classic third set in which she saved five match points. In the end Seles managed to make one count in a 91-minute set that ended 10-8 to the number one seed. This was competitive sport at its best.


Kei Nishikori of Japan celebrates his win against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during day two of the Shanghai Rolex Masters at the Qi Zhong Tennis Center on October 8, 2013
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