Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.
See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.
If a third-round match makes the list of the decade’s 10 best, you know it must have pretty special, and this edition of the long-running, always riveting Venus vs. Kvitova saga certainly was. While the match was played in the middle of the tournament’s first week, it felt like a final on that sunny afternoon in Centre Court. Both women were former Wimbledon champions, and both were among the favorites to win it again that year. For good reason: After squeaking past Venus, Kvitova wouldn’t drop another set on her way to the title.
Some matches on this list were topsy-turvy affairs, others were major upsets. Venus-Kvitova was an undeviatingly serious contest of equally-matched wills and skills. Play began at the highest level of quality and never dipped, as both women remained in complete control on their serves.
Rallies were short, and mostly finished with winners. There were just two breaks: Venus broke at 6–5 to win the first set, and Kvitova broke at 6–5 to win the third. A disconsolate Venus summed up what the afternoon meant.
“I want to win Grand Slams,” she said. “Everybody does....Look at what happened today. No one gives it to you. They snatch it away and say, ‘Mine.’”
Kvitova snatched this one away, and with it came her second Wimbledon title.