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Men's Match of the Decade No. 10: Federer d. Kyrgios, 2017 Miami

Men's Match of the Decade No. 10: Federer d. Kyrgios, 2017 Miami

After both players put on the most intensely concentrated display of top-level tennis over the last 10 years, the Swiss pulled ahead with a 7–6 (9), 6–7 (9), 7–6 (5) semifinal win.

Big Three. Big ballers. Big scores. The 2010s were defined by giant-sized contents on the men's side, which we'll review over the next two weeks.

See the entire men's and women's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.


Normally, the story of a decade in tennis would include a changing-of-the-guard moment, a match that signaled a new generation’s rise. This semifinal, between a 35-year-old Roger Federer and a 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios, provided the opposite: it was the night the guard remained the same.

Federer was coming off a career-rejuvenating Australian Open victory; Kyrgios was coming off two wins over Novak Djokovic, and seemed ready to finally make good on his obvious but underused talent. Together, over the course of three hours, in front of a riveted and raucous Key Biscayne crowd, they put on the most intensely concentrated display of top-level tennis over the last 10 years. When the serene Swiss and the aggro Aussie put their radically different styles and personalities up against each other, there was nothing to separate them.


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Kyrgios hammered 125-m.p.h. second serves and a 118-m.p.h. forehand. Federer answered with his own, more varied but equally potent attack. Yet it wasn’t the firepower and shot-making wizardry that elevated this compact classic; it was how, just when you thought one of the two might crack, neither did.

“I was expecting him to do trick shots and all that stuff,” Federer said afterward. “For me, it was really important to do the same....to make him feel, well, that’s how I actually also play the game.”

Or, to put it another way: Anything the young guys can do, the legends can still do better.