Wimbledon men’s finals: Five of the best

We take a trip down memory lane and relive five of the best Wimbledon finals since the turn of the century:

Goran Ivanisevic against Patrick Rafter, 2001

Both Ivanisevic and Rafter had lost in the finals before – thrice and once respectively – before this five-set thriller on Centre Court.

The atmosphere on the day was reminiscent of that of a football match, with the Croatians and Aussies in the crowd at their boisterous best.

The match see-sawed one way and then the other as the two big-serving grass court specialists traded blows for hours.

Rafter had three match points in the 16th game of the final set, before Ivanisevic triumphed 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 2-6, 9-7.

Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal, 2007

Having dominated the grass courts of SW19 for the previous four years, Federer nearly found his match in this one. Nadal was already well-known as a force on the clay courts of Roland Garros, but showed in this match that he had the all-round game to push Wimbledon's favourite son all the way.

In what was regarded as the greatest final since the Bjorn Borg-John McEnroe battles of 1980 and 1981, Federer eventually triumphed 7–6(9–7), 4–6, 7–6(7–3), 2–6, 6–2.

Rafael Nadal against Roger Federer, 2008

While the 2007 match was an absolute classic, the 2008 match between the same opponents was even better. Some regard it as the best tennis match ever played.

Two of the greatest players ever, possible the greatest, going toe-to-toe for four hours and 48 minutes in what was the longest final in Wimbledon history, Nadal eventually overcame his arch-rival on his favourite court, winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (6-8), 9-7.

Roger Federer against Andy Roddick, 2009

For the third successive year, fans were treated to a five-set epic involving Federer. This time he came up against a player in Andy Roddick whom he had despatched of routinely in two finals previously, but the American was a far bigger threat this time around.

Some may say Roddick had played the better match, losing his serve for the first and only time in the 29th game of the final set to go down 5–7, 7–6(8–6), 7–6(7–5), 3–6, 16–14 after four hours and 17 minutes, it is undisputed that this one will live long in the memory of all those that witnessed it.

Novak Djokovic against Roger Federer 2014

There is no tangible way to decide which match is the best of them all, but it is far from laughable to describe this match as at least the equal of the two Federer-Nadal matches recalled above.

Going up against a far more powerful opponent, Federer pushed the world number one all the way, hitting 75 winners to the Serb's 68.
Ultimately, Djokovic's remarkable fitness and seemingly cool head under pressure saw him through, but no one can doubt that this 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-4 was another absolute classic.

Comments