The French Open Tennis Tournament is the second Grand Slam event of the year. It marks the beginning of the summer season for tennis. The event is played on the famous red clay of Roland Garros. The French Open has seen some amazing matches since going open in 1968. To relive some great moments in French Open history, we have compiled a list of top 12 best French Open matches featuring tennis’s all time greats.
- Best French Open Matches
- Michael Chang vs. Ivan Lendl (1989)
- Andre Agassi vs Andrei Medvedev (1999)
- Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (2008)
- Bjorn Borg vs Ivan Lendl (1981)
- Yanick Noah vs. Matts Wilander (1983)
- Matts Wilander vs Ivan Lendl (1982)
- Ivan Lendl vs John McEnroe (1984)
- Monica Seles vs Steffi Graf (1992)
- Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (2005)
- Chris Evert vs Martina Navratilova (1985)
- Serena Williams vs Venus Williams (2002)
- Bjorn Borg vs Manuel Orantes (1974)
Best French Open Matches
Michael Chang vs. Ivan Lendl (1989)
Michael Chang’s greatest moment in his tennis career came at the expense of the great Ivan Lendl. In a fourth-round match against second-seeded Lendl, Chang, the 15th seed, was down two sets and was having some serious leg cramping issues but the youngster still managed to fend of Lendl and won the match 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in what was a four hour and 37-minute thriller.
Andre Agassi vs Andrei Medvedev (1999)
In 1999, it looked like more of the same for Agassi legacy in French Open finals as he was down two sets to none. But he made one of the most remembered comebacks dispatching Medvedev 1–6, 2–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–4 for only French Open title.
Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (2008)
While the match featured perhaps two best tennis players of all time, Nadal made sure to provide the fans with little drama winning the match and the French Open title in straight set. Nadal became the first player since Bjorn Borg to win four French Open titles in a row that year. This marked the beginning of Nadal controlling his rivalry with Federer as he went on to defeat Federer at the Wimbledon final later that same year.
Bjorn Borg vs Ivan Lendl (1981)
The two fought an epic battle for the title in a match with some great back and forth action with Borg finally defeating Lendl 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 and living up to his reputation of controlling the 5th sets.
Yanick Noah vs. Matts Wilander (1983)
Sporting a wooden racket the French man Noah defeated Mats Wilander 6–2, 6–3, 2–6, 7–6 (8-6) to become first winner French star to win the title in 37 years. Noah’s championship is without a doubt, one of the greatest final in French Open history.
Matts Wilander vs Ivan Lendl (1982)
Ivan Lendl in 1982 suffered a fourth-round loss to a 17-year-old Mats Wilander. Wilander shocked Lendl with a 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win and then went on to shock the world when he won the French Open title after disposing of the No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 seeds. Lendl was the No.2 seed and Wilander was unseeded back then.
Ivan Lendl vs John McEnroe (1984)
John McEnroe has seven Grand Slam titles under his belt. However, he was never able to get his hands on a French Open Title. In the 1984 French Open final, he was up by two sets against Ivan Lendl. McEnroe had one of the famous outbursts he shouted at a cameraman after which Lendl took control of the match. With crowd heavily supporting him, Lendl put away McEnroe for a famous 3–6, 2–6, 6–4, 7–5, 7–5 victory in a match that took four hours and eight minutes.
Monica Seles vs Steffi Graf (1992)
Seles entered the 1992 French Open seeded No. 1 and Graf as the No. 2 seed. Both came in with a successful year behind them. Seles won the first set and Graf won the second making things even. In the final set which happened to be a 91 minute thriller Seles finally sealed the match after winning the set 10-8 for the final score of 6-2, 3-6, 10-8.
Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer (2005)
The King of Clay’s first ever French Open title came at the expense of Mariano Puerta in 2005 but it was the semi-final clash between him and Roger Federer that caught everyone’s eye.
This rivalry was pretty popular back in the day with their match bringing out the best in one another. Evert would clinch the win in an emphatic 6–3, 6–7 (4-7), 7–5 win and go on to win her 7th French open in 1986.
Serena Williams vs Venus Williams (2002)
There has never been a better sibling rivalry than the William sisters. It was 2002 final when the No.2 seeded Venus and the No.3 seeded Serena met for an amazing clash for the French Open title. Serena defeated Venus 7-5, 6-3.
Bjorn Borg vs Manuel Orantes (1974)
No list of best French Open matches can be complete without including this match. After struggling throughout the first two sets, Bjorn Borg controlled the final three sets to make an amazing comeback dispatching Spain’s Manuel Orantes 2–6, 6–7, 6–0, 6–1, 6–1 and capturing his first title.
These are our top picks for the best French Open matches in the history. Share your thoughts in the comments down below.