20 greatest Wimbledon matches

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Sentinel, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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  2. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    All of the matches were Open Era matches because that what people remember. However a lot of pre Open Era matches should have been considered. For example the 1927 Wimbledon semi of Bill Tilden against Henri Cochet. Bill Tilden was a bit past his best against Cochet in his prime. Two legendary players. Tilden led two sets to none and 5-1 in the third set before Cochet won 17 straight points on his way to win the set 7-5. Cochet won the last two sets to win the match. In the final Cochet fell behind against two sets to none, rallied to win the next two sets, fell behind in the fifth set 3-5 and survived a bunch of match points to win.

    Actually before Cochet beat Tilden he also rallied from two sets to none done to win in the previous round against Hunter.

    Another match to consider would be the final of 1933 in which Vines played Jack Crawford. Many considered this match for years to be the finest Wimbledon match ever played.

    As far as my favorites, Borg-Gerulaitis match in 1977 was great and I thought better than the more famous 1980 Wimbledon final. Reason I write that is that Borg didn't start out playing that well in the 1980 final and was beaten badly in the first set. The 1977 was great all the way through.

    Of course the recent 2008 final was excellent and I loved the some of the Rafter-Agassi matches.

    My favorite possibly could be the 2001 final of Goran against Rafter mainly because of the huge drama of Goran. He was unseeded and went on the win the title he always wanted to win in perhaps his last opportunity.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  3. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Crawford vs Vines and Drobny vs Rosewall are huge finals as well as those mentioned by Pc1 involving Pilsen
     
  4. WhiskeyEE

    WhiskeyEE Legend

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    Fed-Roddick should be on there. Way above Fed-Nadal 2.

    Borg-Mac should be #1.
     
  5. augustobt

    augustobt Hall of Fame

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    '09 Final was fantastic. I think that Roddick deserved that title more than Federer.
     
  6. PSNELKE

    PSNELKE Legend

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    i can imagine why! ;)
     
  7. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    Rafter v Goran 2001 Wimby. My finest moment as a tennis fan/viewer. I waited his whole career for my favorite player to break through.
     
  8. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Have you and pc1 seen these matches in any form (live or digital or tape). Like the 1933 one mentioned. (lol, you'd have to be at least 90 to have seen that, assuming you would have to be at least 10 years to follow and be able to remember the match).
     
  9. tudwell

    tudwell Hall of Fame

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    Rosol def. Nadal
     
  10. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1vOcy5TPog

    At about 54 seconds there is a very brief view of Vines and Crawford but nothing much. I'll try to find more.

    edit. check this.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2011/jun/23/wimbledon-1933-crawford-vines-video
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  11. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    My favourite Wimbledon moments are Goran Ivanisevic beating Patrick Rafter in 2001, and Rafael Nadal beating Roger Federer in 2008.

    The 1933 Wimbledon final where Jack Crawford beat Ellsworth Vines 4-6, 11-9, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4, was considered the best Wimbledon final of all time for more than 4 decades, so no need to be so cynical. Crawford had also won the Australian and French titles in 1933, so winning Wimbledon put him one step away from winning the Grand Slam. Unfortunately for Crawford, he lost the final of the US to Fred Perry, where Perry won 6-3, 11-13, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1.
     
  12. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    The first 2 positions were obvious.

    The Goran-Rafter epic should be in the top 3/4 at least, the most emotional match I have ever seen by a country mile, also its quality is underrated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  13. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Borg vs. Tanner in the 1979 Wimbledon final should be on the list. Anyone who has seen this match will agree with me.

    Reading the article, their recollection of the Borg vs. Gerulaitis 1977 Wimbledon semi final is wrong. Gerulaitis did not have the chance to go up 4-1 in the final set. The reality is that Gerulaitis broke Borg to lead 3-2, but Borg broke back straight away in the next game.
     
  14. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks a lot

    Hey, I wasn't being cynical, sorry if i came across as that. I was actually excited that some people here may have seen matches of the earlier era (60's). (1933 is too far back - as i typed it I realized I had asked something silly).

    I've seen matches of the mid and late seventies (on telly) although i was too young then and can only remember the names. I remember Roscoe Tanner, VWade, Betty Stove, Evonne Goolagong, Fleming, McNamara and McNamee in addition to the more famous names.
     
  15. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    The Goran/Rafter final was a thriller, an epic 5 sets. However I can't see it in the top 5 because the quality wasn't up there. I mean Goran threw in at least a dozen(?) double faults in that match.
     
  16. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Sorry, I was probably too harsh there, but Crawford vs. Vines was considered a classic Wimbledon final.

    Tanner played brilliant against Borg in the 1979 Wimbledon final. I think it was one of the best performances ever by the eventual loser in a major final. Tanner also changed a Wimbledon tradition that day. Before 1979, it was sacred tradition at Wimbledon that the first ball of the final would be tossed in the air at 2:00pm sharp. When Tanner feigned sickness in the toilets to delay the 1979 Wimbledon final so that NBC could show the Wimbledon final live for the first time in the USA, it was 1:58pm by the time they came onto court. From then on, 2:00pm became the time when they walked onto court for the final rather than the time when the match actually started.

    I should also mention the 1977 Wimbledon final between Borg and Connors. Borg led 4-0 in the fifth set and seemed to have the title in the bag, but Connors dug deep and managed to pull it back to 4-4. However, Borg held steady and broke Connors before serving it out for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 victory.
     
  17. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    I've actually seen the Tanner match but have no recollection. Too small then. You have an awesome, superhuman memory to remember details of breaks and intermediate scores in a match more than 30 years back !! Hats off !

    Can you give a summary of what was so exciting of the 1979 match. I have only this from wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Wimbledon_Championships_-_Men's_Singles
     
  18. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    There's plenty of classic matches, and not all can make the top 20.
     
  19. underground

    underground Legend

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    Unrealiable list. No Fed-Roddick nor Rosol-Nadal.
     
  20. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I have it on DVD. The excitement was to do with just how well Tanner was playing. The first set was tight and the commentators kept expecting Tanner to make a mistake or for Borg to step up and win the big points. This was especially true in the first set tiebreak, but it was Tanner who went on a run of form towards the end of the tiebreak and took the set point with a lob over Borg's head.

    Tanner's level dropped in the second set, which was by far his worst set, and Borg won it 6-1, but then Tanner just stepped it up again in the third set and won it convincingly, 6-3. Borg looked worried by this time, and he didn't show emotion much. Borg went into his zone of intense focus and concentration in the fourth set and early in the fifth set.

    It got really exciting towards the end of the match in particular. Once Borg went 2-0 up in the fifth set, Tanner started serving unbelievably and also had many chances to break back and get the match back on serve. Borg was hanging on by the end, including a recovery from 15-40, while Tanner was holding his serve much easier. Eventually, Borg served for the title at 5-4 up and got to 40-0 for 3 championship points, only for Tanner to save them all and get it to deuce. Borg just held his nerve and won 6-7, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  21. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    I don't have it on DVD but I remember that match perfectly well.

    It was a great match. In fact, IIRC, in the fifth set, one of the break-points chances that Tanner had was a clear winner that bounced just on the baseline and it was called OUT, Tanner could not believe it.

    Could have changed the match, but it was called out and then Borg held his serve.
     
  22. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Because I make this joke Sentinel I just want to write I know you are not being harsh.

    Drat, people now know I'm over 200. :oops:

    I always wanted to observe the 1927 Tilden-Cochet Wimbledon semi in person. That match would definitely be one of the top ten matches I would have loved to see in person.
     
  23. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Tilden was not a happy guy after losing that semi. He had already seen Cochet upset his domain over at the US Championships, and now Tilden had failed to beat Cochet at his first Wimbledon participation since 1921. And worse, Tilden had blown such a commanding lead in that 1927 Wimbledon semi final. There was also Lacoste and Borotra to worry about, with Lacoste having beaten Tilden 6-4, 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 in the 1927 French Championships final at Stade Francis (the last French Championships before it moved to Roland Garros in 1928 ). It took Tilden a while to get the upper hand over the Musketeers.
     
  24. monfed

    monfed Guest

    1)Goran-Rafter
    2)Borg JMac
    3)Fed-Peter 2001
    4)Rosol Ralph
    5)Peter-Krajicek
    6)Fed Murray 2012
    7)Fed-Ralph 2007
    8 )Fed Ralph 2008
    9)Fed Roddick 09
    10)Scud-Krajicek

    4 & 5 are interchangeable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2012
  25. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thanks for the details, I saw the last game on YT last night.

    One Q. Are these matches you have on DVD available on the net for order, or did you convert them yourself from some older format (VHS) etc. I'd really like to purchase older matches.

    Thanks.
     
  26. Carsomyr

    Carsomyr Hall of Fame

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    It was made last year, so the lack of Rosol-Nadal makes sense, but no Fed-Roddick is a bit baffling, especially considering the context. However, kudos to the author for including the 2007 final, which, in my opinion, exceeded the 2008 final in quality, if not in drama.
     
  27. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    I'm not that big a fan of the Federer/Roddick '09 match. It was great to see Fed win Wimbledon again, to see Roddick in the final, the scoreline etc, but I have to confess I wasn't exactly glued to my seat.

    Sure there were plenty of tense moments (second set tiebreak, the 5th set from 6-6 onwards), but I spent much of my time on Facebook instead of watching it.

    2007 and 2008 (yes, even despite the 9pm heartbreak in '08 :() were far more enjoyable IMHO.

    Of the ones I've seen on that list, I'd put Goran's moment a lot higher. In fact, probably at #1.

    I've also got a copy of the '69 final, need to watch it!
     
  28. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    How Isner/Mahut isn't on there is befuddling. It was first round but that was something we could have never envisioned happening in the sport of tennis. At least warrants the #20.

    Roddick vs Fed 09 is a definite blunder
     
  29. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Good point on 79 final

    Borg vs Connors in 77 was very exciting too with that dramatic connors come back in the fifth set aborted by that DF I cannot prove it but if Connors does not DF IMO he takes the match
    Thanks for enhancing great Crawford.Nobody ever blew off a GRAN SLAM like he did just a aet away from glory.not even Hoad in 56 ever got that damn close
     
  30. underground

    underground Legend

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    Then why would OP post an article a year later? Surely he could have found a more updated version? :confused:
     
  31. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    My favorite Wimbledon match was the Edberg-Mecir '88 SF.

    The first 2 sets that Mecir won may have been the best tennis I've ever seen anyone play at Wimbledon(the winner to error ratio was amazing, and Mecir wasn't hitting aces, it wasn't a padded winner count)
    Edberg did great just to hang in there in the 3rd & 4th, saving many break points. Came back from down a break in the fifth.
    He went on to win the title, despite being an underdog in the final vs Becker.

    The first set of the '86 Wimbledon final(Mandlikova-Martina) was the best womens tennis I've seen at Wimbledon.

    Court-King deserves to ranked a bit higher, its basically the womens equivalent of Borg-Mac, amazing drama & standard of play(with one of the alltime gutsy efforts by King, who was clearly in a lot of pain throughout the 2nd set. I don't think many players today would have continued with that injury - she had surgery after that match which ended her season)
    That match had more points than many five setters (score was 14-12, 11-9, no tiebreaks), maybe the most misleading 'straight set' match in history.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  32. Nadal_Power

    Nadal_Power Semi-Pro

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    Enjoy :) http://www.*********s.net/tournament.asp?tournament=wimbledon&type=1
     
  33. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Isner vs. Mahut

    6–4, 3–6, 6–7, 7–6, 70–68.
     
  34. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    I sent you an e-mail earlier, Sentinel. Hope you received it.
     
  35. forzamilan90

    forzamilan90 Legend

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    this was a weird list. For one where is the Isner-Mahut match? Also, Fed vs Roddick? Agree with the number 1 pick though.
     
  36. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Matchwise Nadal-Fed 2008 was probably the best.

    In terms of level 1999 Wimbledon final.. That was the highest level Ive ever seen from one player
     
  37. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you have one guy playing his usual standard and the other one didn't bring to the table, it's easy to see the victorious player looks good. A lopsided score was the combination of Pete played well and Agassi played subpar.
     
  38. 90's Clay

    90's Clay Legend

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    Agassi played subpar that day because of how zoned in Pete was.. That was the best most dominating performance Ive ever seen.

    And Andre was certainly no mug on grass. During the 90s he was the only pure baseliner to ever win a wimbledon title during that time period. Which was RARE

    Not to mention, '99 was probably Andre's PEAK year as a player
     
  39. CCNM

    CCNM Hall of Fame

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    Totally agree with number 1, I'd put the J. Isner/N. Mahut marathon on the list as well.
     
  40. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I think Agassi seemed to play subpar because Sampras wouldn't allow him to play well.
     
  41. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I have noticed a few posters have mentioned the above match. It was an epic but was it really a good match? We're discussing high quality matches and was the Isner-Mahut match really a high quality match or was it just a long match? A lot of Isner matches are long because he's very hard to break and he finds it hard to break serve.

    Can't seem that match being in the top twenty.
     
  42. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    really enjoyed wimbledon from 2004-2009 and 2012 despite the 2008 heartbreaker it was a fantastic match to watch
     
  43. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    I loved the Isner Mahut match at the time, but if I ever watched it again I'd lapse into a coma.

    I've not seen all the matches on that list, but the ones I have seen (WIM F 1980/2001/2007/2008 and Fed/Sampras) are still very enjoyable to watch now, despite knowing the results and most of the dramatic moments already.

    I still get goosebumps watching the Borg/McEnroe and Fed/Nadal 4th set tiebreaks, and Goran giving himself and everyone else a heart attack when he served for the championship :)
     
  44. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Get ready for Goran to scare you. lol.
    I felt the same way watching Goran in that last game. It was terrifying but eventually very joyful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hECNfj5G_s
     
  45. Hood_Man

    Hood_Man Legend

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    Oh boy, that first point alone...

    [​IMG]
     
  46. rajeshafrica

    rajeshafrica New User

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    I agree for the 1977 Borg - Gerulaitis Match. The sheer shot making and the frentic pace at which it was played makes it a memorable match.
     
  47. firepanda

    firepanda Professional

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    The problem with pre-open era matches is that they are so damn slow. With modern racquets, even I can hit the ball quite as fast with as much spin as those guys. Anything with Rosewall and Laver in it is about as good as it gets, and even those I get bored after a set, once the novelty wears off.
     
  48. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    But that's the way it had to be played because the equipment didn't give the option to blast away with huge power and topspin. It's different in that the variety of shotmaking is much greater than today because they had to do it that way. I do understand how you feel.

    Check this match out from the 1969 Wimbledon semi with Laver and Ashe. Speed is pretty good here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43csIDKmkMk

    Nice avatar by the way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  49. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    We might be discussing quality, but the list just says "20 Best," doesn't really give criteria. However some numbers:

    Isner served 113 Aces vs 10 Double Faults. 10 double faults over 3 days!?
    Isner served at 73% (winning 80%) while Mahut landed 67% with 103 aces (won 86%)

    The first four sets were pretty good quality. Nothing out of the ordinary, not bad either...but I think you are discrediting how legendary that encounter was by just calling it "a long match." It was THE long match.

    I don't care if you put Raonic vs Isner on 90s grass, they will not get to 70-68. That was unthinkable. I mean, at 50 all, you were like, Is this real? Am I dreaming? And they played 32 games after that!

    Sorry for semi- rant
     
  50. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Absolutely!!!
     

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