Editor's note: On Dec. 9, we began our 10-part year-end awards series. Stay tuned each weekday for our latest entry.
With so many amazing points played on the tours each year, cataloging the best is a daunting task. Many factors go into a choice -- the occasion, the moment in the match, displayed skills, the length, the variety, the finishing shot. These 10 had all or most of these qualities.
1. Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic, US Open final
The match may not have been the best they played this year, but this 54-stroke rally was their best exchange. It's not often one point gets a standing ovation from the crowd. This one did.
2. Novak Djokovic vs. Stanislas Wawrinka, Australian Open 4R
An already memorable point on any occasion, but all the more so on match point. A fitting finish for a contest that could fill a highlight reel by itself.
3. Gilles Simon vs. Gael Monfils, Australian Open 3R
This one could be described as more quantity than quality, but a 71-stroke rally is an achievement in itself. It was the high-water mark of the 4-hour, 43-minute match, which featured the five longest rallies of the tournament and seven of the top nine.
4. Novak Djokovic vs. Andy Murray, Australian Open final
Fall down, make the shot, get up, hit a near-winner, run up to net, put it away. All in a point's work for Djokovic.
5. Radek Stepanek vs. Potito Starace, Rome 1R
What more could Starace do in this point? Not much, except win it.
6. Serena Williams vs. Agnieszka Radwanska, Istanbul RR
It's usually Williams making her opponents run all over the court, but Radwanska reverses the situation with some beautiful touch.
7. Rafael Nadal vs. David Ferrer, Rome quarterfinal
Think these two know how to move on clay? Ferrer suffered at the hands of his buddy Nadal this year, but did manage to get the better of him in this point by showing some amazing defense followed by a spectacular winner.
8. Victoria Azarenka vs. Caroline Wozniacki, Cincinnati quarterfinal
A lengthy exchange has Azarenka fending off a near-winner by Wozniacki before going on the offense herself.
9. Victoria Azarenka vs. Serena Williams, Cincinnati final
When it's 6-6 in the third-set tiebreak against Williams, it's time for tennis like this. And Azarenka delivers.
10. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. Milos Raonic, Indian Wells 4R
A spirited net exchange produces a bit of excitement between these two attacking players.