The 7 players to win ATP titles after saving a match point in 2023: Novak Djokovic, Hubert Hurkacz feature twice
Winning after saving a match point in tennis is an impressive feat and an indicator of mental toughness and the ability to perform in the moments where pressure is at its highest.
Novak Djokovic has become renowned for winning matches and ultimately tournaments after facing match points throughout his career. The most famous examples are the Serbian’s victories over his great rival Roger Federer in the 2011 US Open semi-finals and the 2019 Wimbledon final.
Here, we look at the seven players who have saved a match point en route to winning an ATP title in the 2023 season.
1. Novak Djokovic – Adelaide 1 and Cincinnati
Djokovic became the first player to save a match point on the way to claiming a title in 2023 in one of the first tournaments of the season at the Adelaide International 1 in January.
Having advanced to the final of the ATP 250 event without dropping a set, Djokovic lost the opening set of the final against Sebastian Korda.
The Serbian faced a championship point on his own serve at 5-6, 30-40 in the second set, but fended it off with an overhead winner. He then took the second set on a tiebreak, before converting his first match point to edge a thrilling contest 6-7(8), 7-6(3), 6-4.
The 36-year-old repeated the feat of winning a final after saving a match point at the Cincinnati Masters in August, where he faced Carlos Alcaraz in the title match.
Having trailed by a set and 2-4, Djokovic faced an Alcaraz match point at 5-6 in the second set tiebreak and managed to save it with a huge forehand.
The tennis legend won both the second and third sets on tiebreaks and eventually sealed victory on his fifth match point to prevail 5-7, 7-6(7), 7-6(4) in a gruelling and pulsating encounter.
2. Wu Yibing
Wu Yibing became the first Chinese player to win an ATP title with his victory at the Dallas Open ATP 250 tournament in February.
The 24-year-old, who is currently ranked 121st having peaked at No 54 in May, overcame John Isner 6-7,(4), 7-6(3), 7-6(12) in a tense three-set championship match.
The Chinese star saved a match point on serve at 5-6 in the second set and fought off three more in a final set tiebreaker, before claiming his maiden ATP title on his fifth opportunity following a nervous conclusion.
3. Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz was the third player this year to secure a title on the men’s tour after being a point away from defeat as he triumphed in Marseille in February.
In his quarter-final clash with Mikael Ymer, the top seed saved a match point at 5-6 in a deciding set tiebreak, before taking his first match point to edge the Swede 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6).
The Pole then earned straight-set wins over Alexander Bublik and Benjamin Bonzi in the semi-finals and final respectively to clinch the ATP 250 title.
The current world No 9 mirrored Djokovic by winning an ATP Masters 1000 title having faced match point after doing the same at an ATP 250 event earlier in 2023.
In the final of the Shanghai Masters in October, Hurkacz fired an ace to stave off an Andrey Rublev match point at 5-6 in the third set tiebreak.
The 26-year-old converted his fourth championship point to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(8) in a scoreline almost identical to the one in his win over Ymer – with the only difference the tiebreak score.
4. Holger Rune
Holger Rune was the only player to save a match point en route to winning a clay-court ATP tournament this year when he defended his title at the ATP 250 event in Munich.
After winning the opening set of the final against Botic Van De Zandschulp, the Dane looked to be heading for defeat as he lost the second set 1-6 and slipped to a 2-5, double break final set deficit.
Despite Rune struggling physically, the Dutchman failed to serve out the match three times at 5-2, 5-4, and 6-5, after having 40-15 leads in the first and third of those games.
The tension got the better of Van De Zandschulp, who was seeking his first ATP title, and Rune remarkably survived the four match points to win 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(3).
5. Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe became the fifth player to win an ATP event after facing a match point during the title run as he claimed the grass-court ATP 250 crown in Stuttgart in June.
In the title match, Tiafoe found himself in a third set tiebreak against Jan-Lennard Struff – after just one break of serve in the match.
The American saved a match point at 6-7 in the tiebreak with a fine backhand winner down-the-line, before sealing a 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(8) victory on his third match point.
6. Christopher Eubanks
Two weeks later, Christopher Eubanks joined his American compatriot in securing a grass-court title having been a point from defeat at the Mallorca Championships.
In the semi-finals at the ATP 250 event against Lloyd Harris, Eubanks survived five match points in the deciding set – three at 4-5, 0-40 and two more in the tiebreak – before prevailing 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9).
The 27-year-old American then downed Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-4 in the final to claim the first ATP title of his career.
7. Felix Auger-Aliassime
Felix Auger-Aliassime was the last player to secure an ATP title after saving a match point during the tournament in 2023, with the Canadian achieving the feat at the Swiss Indoors in October.
In the quarter-finals in Basel, Alexander Shevchenko led Auger-Aliassime 5-4, 40-30 in the deciding set, but the Canadian held firm to break back and seal a 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(1) triumph.
The Canadian then impressively saw off Holger Rune 6-3, 6-2 in the last four and Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(3), 7-6(5) in the final to defend his title at the ATP 500 tournament.
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