As the season starts to change and we start to grumble about fallen leaves and necessity of the autumn jacket; our thoughts turn to the brief, but glorious summer and all the incredible things that came with it. In this case, The Championships, Wimbledon.
Just saying the word brings back memories of sunshine; the smell of newly-mown grass; and strawberries and cream with a glass of Pimm’s. For the briefest moment, we all became tennis experts; dissecting each game for the ultimate Wimbledon sporting moment.
But as the years pass, even these fade into dark recesses of our minds. The great rivalries, the nail-biting action, the tears of celebration (and failure) – have all become a trivial fact that we hope we’ll remember in case of a tennis-related pub quiz question.
Today, however, we’ve decided revisit some of the best Wimbledon moments over the years simply because we miss the drama, the tennis, and the summer.
DISCLAIMER: The discussion of this list may likely lead to debates, arguments, and tears. We, at Keith Prowse, will not be held liable for any such event as friendships lost, punches pulled, or tears spilled. Thank you.
PETE SAMPRAS V ROGER FEDERER – 2001
It’s 2001. Roger Federer, then 20 years of age, has never been past the 3rd round in a Grand Slam. Pete Sampras, on the other hand has, to date, amassed 13 Grand Slam Singles titles, 7 Wimbledon titles and had his sights on a fifth title in a row.
This was to be the dawn of a new era in tennis, and the only time these two giants of tennis met in a ranking tournament.
BORIS BECKER – 1985
In 1985, Boris Becker was 17 when won the Championships. He was the youngest male Wimbledon champion; a record that stands to this day!
JANA NOVOTNA – 1998
A great example of ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’. In a nail-biting final, Novotna lost to Steffi Graf in 1993. Then, in 1997, was thwarted again by the ‘Swiss Miss’, Martina Hingis. But Novotna tasted Wimbledon victory the next year and defeated veteran Nathalie Tauziat to claim the title.
NICOLAS MAHUT V JOHN ISNER – 2010
AKA – the longest match in history. Starting on Court 18 at 8.22pm on 22 June 2010, the game lasted 11 hours, five minutes and stretched to three days! The final set alone lasted over 8 hours, with each player serving over 100 aces.
It is unlikely a feat like this will ever be witnessed again in tennis and, though Isner was victorious, both names have been immortalised.
JOHN McENROE V TOM GULLIKSON – 1981
Every sport needs a bad boy, and John McEnroe filled the shoes for the sport of tennis with this incredible outburst in 1981. He became not only one of the most famous catchphrases in tennis, but in sport in general.
PAT CASH V IVAN LENDL – 1987
When Australian Pat Cash defeated then world number 1, Ivan Lendl, in the final of 1987, he not only won his first and only Grand Slam title but he sparked a trend – jumping through the crowd to celebrate – that would be followed by numerous Wimbledon champions in the years to come.
ARTHUR ASHE V JIMMY CONNORS – 1975
Despite never having beaten Connors in previous games, Arthur Ashe defied the odds and triumphed in the Wimbledon final of 1975. His victory was to be his last Grand Slam title and, to this day, he is the only black man to have won at SW19.
GORAN IVANISEVIC – 2001
After failing on four previous attempts, the charismatic, mercurial and ever popular Goran Ivanisevic claimed his first and only Grand Slam title in 2001. He became both the first ever wildcard to win the tournament, and the lowest ranked player to have been victorious.
ROGER FEDERER V RAFAEL NADAL – 2008
Arguably one of the greatest Wimbledon finals of all time. Federer hoped to surpass Bjorn Borg’s record of 5 consecutive wins; whilst Nadal was hoping to claim his first victory at SW19. What ensued was simply one of the most gripping tennis matches of all time.
BJORN BORG V JOHN MCENROE – 1980
Until 2008, this match was deemed the greatest Wimbledon final of all time. The rivalry between the two tennis players was one of the most iconic in sporting history and was epitomised in this final. Borg came through this epic encounter victorious and made Wimbledon history, winning the title for the 5th time in the row.