Federer's 100th & Djokovic's Missing Masters Top Unforgettable Titles
What are your favourite ATP Tour title moments?
ATPTour.com looks back at 10 memorable tournament victories from recent years, from the breakthrough of stars to all-time greats achieving unforgettable milestones.
10. Juan Martin Del Potro, 2018 BNP Paribas Open
Del Potro’s run at Indian Wells in 2018 proved the peak of his comeback from three left wrist surgeries. The Argentine saved three championship points before defeating Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(2) for the title.
The ‘Tower of Tandil’ had lost his first three ATP Masters 1000 finals, but with his win over Federer he became the first Argentine to win the BNP Paribas Open in tournament history (since 1976) and the first South American titlist in Indian Wells since Marcelo Rios in 1998.
9. Dominic Thiem, 2019 BNP Paribas Open
Thiem had long ago proven his abilities at the highest levels on clay. But the Austrian sprung a surprise last year, claiming his first Masters 1000 title on the hard courts of Indian Wells.
For the second consecutive year, Federer suffered heartbreak in the BNP Paribas Open final. Thiem rallied from a set down to beat the Swiss star 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, denying Federer a record sixth Indian Wells crown.
8. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2019 Nitto ATP Finals
When Tsitsipas won the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, it was clear the Greek was a star of the future. But he proved he was ready to compete against the world’s best now when he triumphed at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals.
Tsitsipas beat Federer in the semi-finals and Dominic Thiem in the final at The O2 to lift the biggest trophy of his career. At 21 years and three months, he became the youngest season finale champion since former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt (20) at 2001 Sydney.
7. Fabio Fognini, 2019 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Fognini caused the upset of the tournament at 2019 Monte Carlo, defeating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. He didn’t suffer a letdown in the final, becoming the first Italian to win an ATP Masters 1000 title by beating Dusan Lajovic 6-3, 6-4. Fognini, the 13th seed, was the lowest seeded player to lift the trophy since fellow 13th seed Gustavo Kuerten in 1999.
6. Andy Murray, 2019 European Open
Murray was unsure if he’d ever play again after undergoing a second hip surgery following the 2019 Australian Open. Little did the former World No. 1 know that by the end of the year he’d be lifting an ATP Tour trophy again.
In only the sixth tour-level singles event of his comeback, Murray rallied past former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in an emotional final to win his first title since 2017 Dubai.
5. Rafael Nadal, 2005 Internazionali BNL d’Italia
The legendary Spaniard has won 59 tour-level titles on clay, including 12 at Roland Garros. But before any of his victories in Paris, Nadal won a memorable final at the 2005 Internazionali BNL d’Italia in his first Rome appearance.
Nadal, then only 18, showed his trademark fighting spirit to rally from down 0-3 in the fifth set to defeat 2004 Roland Garros finalist Guillermo Coria 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) in a gut-wrenching five hours and 14 minutes for the trophy.
4. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2014 Rogers Cup
It was four days of shock and awe in Toronto for Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2014. The 29-year-old Frenchman beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 9 Andy Murray, No. 8 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 3 Roger Federer in four consecutive days to win his second ATP Masters 1000 crown, and his first ATP Tour trophy in nearly 18 months.
Nalbandian earned a 0.35 winning percentage (11-20) against the ‘Big Three’ of Novak Djokovic (1-4), Roger Federer (8-11) and Rafael Nadal (2-5) in his career. But at 2007 Madrid he became the first player to defeat them all in the same tournament, upsetting Federer 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 for the trophy.
2. Novak Djokovic, 2018 Western & Southern Open
For five years, Djokovic needed only one more title to become the first player to complete the Career Golden Masters, lifting all nine ATP Masters 1000 trophies. But the Serbian could not get over the finish line at the Western & Southern Open.
That was until 2018, when Djokovic refused to be denied. Federer had beaten him in three previous Cincinnati finals, finishing each match in straight sets. But Djokovic wouldn’t let Federer spoil his efforts a fourth time, defeating the Swiss 6-4, 6-4 for a memorable victory.
1. Roger Federer, 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Federer claimed his 99th tour-level title at 2018 Basel in front of his home fans. There wasn’t a long wait for him to hit the century mark.
After dropping a set in his first two matches of the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer rounded into form, storming through the rest of the draw to become the second player to win 100 tour-level titles, joining former World No. 1 Jimmy Connors (109). The Swiss had lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the year at the Australian Open, but he got his revenge with a 6-4, 6-4 victory to reach the historic milestone.