By News Team
Last Updated: 2nd July 2021
During this iconic time in the British summer, we take a look at the greatest tennis matches of all time that have taken place at Wimbledon. Over the years, Wimbledon has been a mecca for tennis and the matches that have taken place at this iconic venue range from some of the longest that have ever taken place to matches that have been filled with the utmost quality.
Goran Ivanisevic v Pat Rafter – 2001 Wimbledon Final
If ever there was a fairy tale story about tennis this would surely be the script.
By the summer of 2001, Ivanišević was ranked the world No. 125. This ranking was too low to be in the main draw, but as he had previously reached 3 Wimbledon finals he was awarded a wildcard entry. He defeated former and future world No. 1 players Carlos Moyá, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin and in the semi-finals beat home favourite Tim Henman in a five set, rain-affected semi-final, setting up a Wimbledon final with the previous year’s runner-up and former US Open champion Patrick Rafter. It was Ivanišević’s first singles final since 1998. In a match lasting just over three hours, Ivanišević defeated Rafter 6–3, 3–6, 6–3, 2–6, 9–7.
Bjorn Borg v John McEnroe – 1980 Wimbledon Final
No Wimbledon best matches list would be complete with the mention of John McEnroe and Bjorn Bjorg, The hot headed American that filled the grass courts with drama, and the elegant swede who glided around Wimbledon on numerous occasions previously.
Having lost the opening set of the Wimbledon final to an all-out McEnroe assault, Borg took the next two and had two championship points at 5–4 in the fourth. However, McEnroe averted disaster and went on to level the match in Wimbledon’s most memorable 34-point tiebreaker, which he won 18–16. In the fourth-set tiebreak, McEnroe saved five match points, and Borg six set points, before McEnroe won the set. Björn served first to begin the 5th set and fell behind 15–40. Borg then won 19 straight points on serve in the deciding set and prevailed after 3 hours, 53 minutes.
John Isner v Nicolas Mahut – 2010 Wimbledon First Round
Very rarely does a first round tennis match make the cut on a list of greatest matches in Wimbledon history… but rarely does this particular match not make the list! Both players are by no means considered greats of the game but this game made news all around the world, because it never seemed like it was going to end!
Isner served a world record 112 aces in the single match alone, breaking Ivo Karlović’s record of 78. Mahut would go on to surpass it as well with 103. Play was suspended at on the second day due to darkness at a score of 59–59. Isner took the match the following day, winning 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68.
The match is the longest match ever in a Tennis Open in terms of both time and games, lasting 183 games, and 11 hours and 5 minutes! And although this match is not a Wimbledon Final nor have either of these players joined the Wimbledon champions list, this match will never be forgotten.