2019 Wimbledon: the most thrilling men's major final?

Which do you think was the most thrilling men's tennis match ever?

  • 1987 US Open: Ivan Lendl vs. Mats Wilander

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1988 US Open: Mats Wilander vs. Ivan Lendl

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2004 French Open: Gaston Gaudio vs. Guillermo Coria

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2014 Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic vs. Roger Federer

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    49

zvelf

Semi-Pro
https://www.economist.com/game-theory/2019/07/16/novak-djokovic-wins-the-most-thrilling-mens-tennis-match-ever

This is a fascinating article by a statistician using math to analyze the most thrilling major finals in tennis history (well, the last 40 years) by tallying points that impact the match outcome the most. The 2019 Wimbledon final comes out on top and the top 3 aren't really surprising. It's also interesting to see the top 10 with Lendl and Wilander contributing a couple. Which final do you think was the most thrilling? Is there a match you think is the most thrilling that's not on the list?
 

Qubax

Professional
If I could vote for 2 I would vote for Roddick vs Fed Wimbly 09 and Fed vs Djoko Wimbly 19
 

REKX

Rookie
Not even close.

Look at the pace, intensity and shot making of this match. Felt like Djokovic Federer 2019 was in slow motion in comparison.

 

Rabe87

Professional
Not even close.

Look at the pace, intensity and shot making of this match. Felt like Djokovic Federer 2019 was in slow motion in comparison.

Absolutely one of the greatest if not the greatest performance from Fed, Djokovic played a little defensively and sub-par but hats off to Fed, played the match of his career. Fantastic effort.
 

REKX

Rookie
Absolutely one of the greatest if not the greatest performance from Fed, Djokovic played a little defensively and sub-par but hats off to Fed, played the match of his career. Fantastic effort.
How could this be his greatest performance?

Did you not watch tennis around 2005-2008 time? Look at the video above, how can you possibly say the shot making and technique matched up to that?

Are you serious?
 
Sackmann really loves trolling the Fed policia, huehue.

The '19 match got a yuuuge bonus for that fifth set though, would never make it otherwise, with two dud sets prior to that and the other two being mostly bottish besides the end. I would honestly vote for the '08 final, given the number of BPs and close games in each set except the fourth, which was the one serve-dominant set but added a lot of excitement with the legendary tiebreak.
 

Indigo

Rookie
Nadal and Federer look so young in 2008 as if they are different persons, almost unrecognizable compared to today, especially Roger's face. Time's bi*ch. Remember watching this as if it was only yesterday. Yes, they are faster and stronger then than now, obviously. But someone calculated that Wimby 2019 had more drama, it's science.
 

GabeT

Legend
Sackmann really loves trolling the Fed policia, huehue.

The '19 match got a yuuuge bonus for that fifth set though, would never make it otherwise, with two dud sets prior to that and the other two being mostly bottish besides the end. I would honestly vote for the '08 final, given the number of BPs and close games in each set except the fourth, which was the one serve-dominant set but added a lot of excitement with the legendary tiebreak.
Yes, that fifth set had it all, back and forth breaks, missed match points, lasted forever and so raising the tension as time went by, and finished with a TB
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
Absolutely one of the greatest if not the greatest performance from Fed, Djokovic played a little defensively and sub-par but hats off to Fed, played the match of his career. Fantastic effort.
You mean aside from making 2.5 forehand errors per forehand winner hit - stats in complete contrast with any other great, long match of his career?
 

zvelf

Semi-Pro
You mean aside from making 2.5 forehand errors per forehand winner hit - stats in complete contrast with any other great, long match of his career?
That's a bit of cherry picking though. Federer had an astounding 35 more winners than unforced errors total, 96 to 61.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
That's a bit of cherry picking though. Federer had an astounding 35 more winners than unforced errors total, 96 to 61.
You think it's cherry picking to point out that his forehand errors to winners ratio suddenly more than doubled in one match and was massively higher than it usually is for him in any circumstance? :-D:-D

They played 73.6% more points than the Nadal match. That's 179 points more to hit just 2-4 more forehand winners (depending which stats package you look at).

If you don't see something massively awry there then I can't fathom what you think would be an important metric.
 
https://www.economist.com/game-theory/2019/07/16/novak-djokovic-wins-the-most-thrilling-mens-tennis-match-ever

This is a fascinating article by a statistician using math to analyze the most thrilling major finals in tennis history (well, the last 40 years) by tallying points that impact the match outcome the most. The 2019 Wimbledon final comes out on top and the top 3 aren't really surprising. It's also interesting to see the top 10 with Lendl and Wilander contributing a couple. Which final do you think was the most thrilling? Is there a match you think is the most thrilling that's not on the list?
From the article, I gather excitement index numbers would be high in matches that had a high number of break points(esp in 5th sets), tiebreaks, set points saved, etc.

That's what makes the 87 USO final making the list rather surprising. I do recall it having a lot of momentum shifts, and Lendl saving set points in the 3rd set, but the lack of a 5th set would seem to disqualify it from being on here(esp at the expense of 84 RG final). Maybe there were a crazy amount of break points, I don't recall.
Would love to learn more on this statistic.
 

upchuck

Professional
I rewatched the 2008 Wimbledon Final today and, to be honest, it was much less great than I remember. Obviously you can't feel the drama watching it when you already know what happened, but do people doubt that last year's semi-final with Nadal and Djokovic was a better quality match?
 
I rewatched the 2008 Wimbledon Final today and, to be honest, it was much less great than I remember. Obviously you can't feel the drama watching it when you already know what happened, but do people doubt that last year's semi-final with Nadal and Djokovic was a better quality match?
I watched both matches from start to finish (includes rewatching 2018 on record to be able to analyse fairly), and yes 2008 was better if movement is given proper consideration. 2018 was more fun though, more attacking and daring tennis while 2008 was passive in comparison but defence was quite superior and serving was equal if not better.
 

upchuck

Professional
I watched both matches from start to finish (includes rewatching 2018 on record to be able to analyse fairly), and yes 2008 was better if movement is given proper consideration. 2018 was more fun though, more attacking and daring tennis while 2008 was passive in comparison but defence was quite superior and serving was equal if not better.
I feel the opposite. 2008 featured more attacking, daring tennis as is Federer's style. His forehand was often on fire in that match, dictating what happened and ending points quickly. Djokovic was quite aggressive from the baseline in the 2018 match and eventually Nadal was as well but it's their movement that stands out. Every dimension of the court was used in the 2018 match and they both showed great defensive resilience.
 
I feel the opposite. 2008 featured more attacking, daring tennis as is Federer's style. His forehand was often on fire in that match, dictating what happened and ending points quickly. Djokovic was quite aggressive from the baseline in the 2018 match and eventually Nadal was as well but it's their movement that stands out. Every dimension of the court was used in the 2018 match and they both showed great defensive resilience.
How you see the 2018 players move better, of all things, I couldn't understand. Game was sure more varied, in 08 the trusty FH-to-BH pattern dominated Nadal's gameplan to good effect; that's not the same though.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
I rewatched the 2008 Wimbledon Final today and, to be honest, it was much less great than I remember. Obviously you can't feel the drama watching it when you already know what happened, but do people doubt that last year's semi-final with Nadal and Djokovic was a better quality match?
Truly that is one of the most overrated major finals of all time. I have watched it a few times over the year and a lot of it was average af. Fed played so below par for much of the match I am impressed he even forced a 5-set match.
 

donquijote

Legend
I had a hard time choosing between these two
  • 1987 US Open: Ivan Lendl vs. Mats Wilander
  • 1988 US Open: Mats Wilander vs. Ivan Lendl
 
I watched both matches from start to finish (includes rewatching 2018 on record to be able to analyse fairly), and yes 2008 was better if movement is given proper consideration. 2018 was more fun though, more attacking and daring tennis while 2008 was passive in comparison but defence was quite superior and serving was equal if not better.
How do you rate 2013 W SF Djokovic Del Potro compared to those 2 matches?
 

upchuck

Professional
How you see the 2018 players move better, of all things, I couldn't understand. Game was sure more varied, in 08 the trusty FH-to-BH pattern dominated Nadal's gameplan to good effect; that's not the same though.
Nadal certainly was a better mover in 2008 than in the 2018 match. That's clear. But overall it was a match featuring great width of shot from both players and lots of running and solid retrieving.
Truly that is one of the most overrated major finals of all time. I have watched it a few times over the year and a lot of it was average af. Fed played so below par for much of the match I am impressed he even forced a 5-set match.
That's the thing that maybe stands out more than anything else: Federer did not play a great match. He was mostly better than Nadal in the first two sets but didn't capitalise on his openings, whereas Nadal rarely had any opening in those sets but broke serve whenever he did. Then the pattern was reversed in the third and fourth sets with Federer living on the edge quite a bit but pulling through. The fifth set was extended but they were not playing many great rallies. I could see how parts of the match, especially the fourth set tie-break, could have been the source of insane dramatic tension at the time, propelling its legend, but it is not a match that holds up well on later viewings.
 
Top