Okay, someone in another thread mentioned a drought recently in 5-set Slam finals. I looked back through the Open Era and made this list. 1968 Ashe-Okker (USO) 1969 1970 Newcombe-Rosewall (W) 1971 Newcombe-Smith (W) 1972 Smith-Nastase (W), Nastase-Ashe (USO) 1973 Newcombe-Kodes (USO) 1974 Borg-Orantes (FO) 1975 1976 1977 Borg-Connors (W), Gerulaitis-Lloyd (AO) 1978 1979 Borg-Tanner (W) 1980 Borg-McEnroe (W), McEnroe-Borg (USO) 1981 Borg-Lendl (FO) 1982 Connors-McEnroe (W) 1983 1984 Lendl-McEnroe (FO) 1985 1986 1987 Edberg-Cash (AO) 1988 Wilander-Cash (AO), Wilander-Lendl (USO) 1989 Chang-Edberg (FO) 1990 Edberg-Becker (W) 1991 Courier-Agassi (FO) 1992 Agassi-Ivanisevic (W) 1993 Bruguera-Courier (FO) 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Sampras-Ivanisevic (W) 1999 Agassi-Medvedev (FO), Agassi-Martin (USO) 2000 2001 Ivanisevic-Rafter (W) 2002 2003 2004 Gaudio-Coria (FO) 2005 2006 2007 In five-set finals: Borg is 5-1 Newcombe is 3-0 Wilander is 2-0 Agassi is 3-1 Edberg is 2-1 Ashe is 1-1 Nastase is 1-1 Smith is 1-1 Courier is 1-1 Connors is 1-1 Lendl is 1-2 Ivanisevic is 1-2 McEnroe is 1-3 Cash is 0-2 Wilander and Agassi are the only ones to win two in a single calendar year. Borg, Lendl, Agassi and Gaudio are the only ones to win from two sets down; they all did it at the French. Gaudio is the only winner of the lot to face a match point.

It makes sense why there is a drought, Federer is simply too dominant. I wouldn't expect a 5 set Slam Final anytime this year, either.

We've now had the last two Wimbledon finals, to add to the list. So out of 30 Slam finals in the Open Era that have gone five sets, 13 have been at Wimbledon.

Including the Nadal-Federer finals, there would be 25 lines (or 25 years) containing such finals. But five of those years had two such finals, so that's 30 finals altogether.

Only ones to go to 6-all in the fifth: Borg-McEnroe (1980) Wilander-Cash (1988 ) Ivanisevic-Rafter (2001) Coria-Gaudio (2003) Nadal-Federer (2008 )

So now we've had three more five-set finals, all in 2009. This is the first year in the Open Era that three have been played.

Fed's 5 set finals: 1. Wimbledon 2007 vs Nadal (win) -- was up 2 sets to 1 2. Wimbledon 2008 vs. Nadal (loss) -- was down 2 sets to 1 3. Australian 2009 vs. Nadal (loss) -- was down 2 sets to 1 4. Wimbledon 2009 vs. Roddick (win) -- was up 2 sets to 1 5. Wimbledon 2009 vs. Del Potro (loss) -- was up to sets to 1

Good point. Sampras would have just mailed it in and lost in straight sets to an on-fire opponent (i.e. Krajicek 1996 Wimbledon, Safin 2000 US Open, Hewitt 2001 US Open, Philippousis 1996 Australian) but Fed dug in and at least pushed Rafa to 5 sets.

I would have lost a bit of respect for Fed had he not made the push to come back. As it stands, he still lost but we got a fun match out of it.

If my quick overview of the chart is right, Federer has been in more Major finals that went to 5 sets than anyone else.7 Major finals that went to 5 sets, and he's won 3 of them. Borg was in 6 and won 5 of them.

If my quick overview of the chart is right, Federer has been in more Major finals that went to 5 sets than anyone else.7 Major finals that went to 5 sets, and he's won 3 of them. Borg was in 6 and won 5 of them.

If I've done my math right, Federer has played more of these than anyone in history. He and Borg and Tilden were each at 6. Fed now has 7 with a 3-4 record.

Easier to hold serve so more coin flip tiebreaks maybe? Are we accounting for the AO being on grass until the late 80's and the USO on grass until the late 70's?

I was thinking something like that too. But I should run the numbers for the entire span (OE and before) and see what kind of pattern emerges. Even then we're only looking at finals so it's not the best sample size.